Monday, August 3, 2015

What Can We Do about Climate Change?

World Wildlife Magazine     Fall 2015
The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris is fast approaching—and with it, our best chance to secure meaningful global climate change action. But the decisions that define our day-to-day lives have a huge impact as well. Below, learn how to be a climate champion on your way to work, in the kitchen, and even in the laundry room.
Shop Your Fridge
Most of us don’t notice food waste, but every year we generate enough of it in the US to fill 91 Empire State Buildings. You can dramatically reduce that waste—a major source of carbon emissions—by using what’s already in the fridge to inspire your next meal.
Heat Trap
Hot water is the second biggest source of greenhouse gases created by US households—and the second biggest utility expense for homes. To cut down on both, set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120°F, which can cover most hot water needs.
Run on Sunshine
Every 2.5 minutes a home or business goes solar in the US; the cost has dropped 80% since 2008. Powering your household with sunshine can lower your electricity bills while dramatically reducing your consumption of the fossil fuels that are driving climate change.
Cold Is Gold
A whopping 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes to heating the water. But cold water works just as well for most clothes, and helps colors last longer. There’s even a variety of detergents designed for cold-water settings.
Doggy Duty
If you’re a city dweller with a dog, use biodegradable bags to pick up your pooch’s poop. Most pet stores carry them, but you can also buy them online.
Sustainable Traffic
Use the bus or subway—or your legs—to commute to work when possible. Using a bike instead of a car just two days a week can lower your carbon emissions by two tons a year. If you’re sticking with a car, consider trading in for a hybrid or electric vehicle. And be sure to keep the tires inflated and drive moderately: speedy starts and stops can burn up to 33% more gas on highways and 5% more on city streets.
Raise Your Voice
Give climate change action your support: sign the petition asking President Obama to make strong US commitments at the Paris summit in December.