Reports say that it would take an investment of USD 45 trillion by 2050 to reduce the threat of global warming. As citizens of the world, we must make a contribution– not financial, but in little ways that will help bring the figure down. AM tells you how…
1. Change the bulbs
Go in for energy-saving bulbs and replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). Although CFLs cost three to five times as much as conventional incandescent bulbs, they use one quarter the electricity (60 per cent less energy) and last several years longer. This simple switch alone helps save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
2. Adjust your thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night, and raise it again in the morning. This move can potentially save you USD 100 a year on your energy bill. If you don’t want to install a new device, then simply reduce two degrees on your thermostat in the winter, and increase two degrees in the summer. This effectively saves about 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year.
3. Opt for energy efficient appliances
The next time you buy an electrical appliance, take a closer look at the label. Choose on the basis of energy efficiency, not on brand name. When using any electrical devices, unplug them when not in use as appliances use energy when they’re plugged in, even when you’re not using them. You can get a power strip with an on-off switch so you can keep plugs in but they don’t all have to be used.
4. Don’t leave appliances on standby
Use the ‘on/off’ function on the machine itself. A TV set that’s switched on for three hours a day and is in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40 per cent of its energy in standby mode. Shut off your computer when not in use, and save 200 lbs of C02. Conserve energy by using your computer’s ‘sleep mode’ instead of a screensaver.
5. Use a fan
Ceiling fans are a pretty harmless way to cool down a room without using an air conditioner. They use less energy and are quite a comfort.
6. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
and you’ll save 1,000 pounds of CO2 a year. You can save about USD 800 per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50 degrees Celcius.
7. Move your fridge and freezer to a cooler place
Not next to your cooker or boiler, as the heat forces them to consume much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35 degrees Celcius, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges and 320kg for freezers per year.
8. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.
9. Don’t let heat escape from your house over a long period
When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during the cold months would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.
10. Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (like wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70 per cent of the energy lost.
11. Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy
inefficient. You can save up to 30 per cent off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of CO2 a year.
12. Cover your pots while cooking
This saves on the energy needed to prepare the dish. Even better, use pressure cookers and steamers- they can save around 70 per cent!
13. Use the washing machine and dishwasher to capacity
If you need to use it when it is half-full, then use the half-load or economy setting. You can even set the temperatures lower. Latest detergents have made it easier to clean clothes and dishes, even at lower temperatures.
14. Take a shower instead of a bath
Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs. A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximise the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.
15. Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of CO2 saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (USD 750 saved per year) instead of hot.
16. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of CO2 when you air dry your clothes for half the year.
17. Insulate and weatherise your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25 per cent of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year.
You can save 2,400 pounds of CO2 a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Reduce, reuse, recycle- remember you’re three Rs!
19. Make intelligent and informed purchases
One 1.5L bottle requires less energy and produces less waste than three 0.5L bottles. Buy recycled paper products- it takes less 70 to 90 per cent less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.
20. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
This will help you cut down on waste production and energy use. Less packaging could reduce your garbage by about 10 per cent. Save 1,200 pounds of CO2 and USD 1,000 per year.
21. Reuse your shopping bag
Reduce waste by refusing disposable bags each time you shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.
22. Reduce waste
Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes. Start using a reusable water bottle and just say no to plastic!
23. Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of CO2 over its lifetime. Not only do they suck up carbon dioxide, provide cleaner
air and save 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year, but you can strategise where you place them so they can shade your home, reducing your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15 per cent.
24. Switch to green power
Opt for a location where you have the option of energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely, once regulatory barriers are removed.
25. Buy locally grown and produced foods where possible
This saves on the transportation costs and helps keep funds within your country.
26. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
27. Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by 1/5. If you seek and go to farmer’s markets, you reduce the amount of fuel consumed by trucks and planes bringing in food and stuff from other countries, or from distant parts of your own country.
28. Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere!
29. Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters.
Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath. The international meat industry generates roughly 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions- even more than transportation.
30. Drive less
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of CO2 emissions a year! Look for transit options in your city. Sharing a ride with someone just two days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year.
31. Don’t leave an empty roof rack on your car
This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent due to wind resistance and the extra weight.
32. Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just one per cent of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.
33. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible, and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. These simple adjustments to your driving style can save money on both fuel and car maintenance.
34. Make sure your tyres are properly inflated
Proper tyre inflation can improve gas mileage by more than three per cent. Since every gallon of fuel saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!
35. Choose a more fuel-efficient
vehicle You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your car gets only three miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid!
36. Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.
37. Encourage others to reduce emissions
You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging others to take action. Share your green efforts with everyone you know and encourage them to do the same.
38. Join the virtual march
The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.
39. Protect and conserve forests
Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere deforestation now accounts for about 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
40. Consider the impact of your investments
If you invest your money, you should consider the impact it will have on global warming.
41. Go public
Public transit saves a ton of fuel annually, so take a bus instead of driving down to your local grocery.
42. Take another look at vintage clothes
High-end hand-me-downs are more ecologically sound than new clothes. Because buying a shirt the second time around means you avoid consuming all the energy used in producing and shipping a new one and, therefore, the carbon emissions associated with it. Every item of clothing you own has an impact on the environment. Some synthetic textiles are made with petroleum products. Cotton accounts for less than 3 per cent of farmed land globally but consumes about a quarter of the pesticides. One quick way to change your duds: invite friends over for a closet swap, to which everyone brings a few items they want to trade. It’s easy on the environment- and your pocketbook.
43. Change the AC filter
Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs of carbon dioxide and USD 150 per year.
44. Replace old appliances
Inefficient appliances waste energy. Prevent excess emission of carbon dioxide and save hundreds of dollars per year along the way.
45. Use a push mower
If you have a garden, use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise.
46. Buy in bulk.
You’ll expend less energy getting to the store on top of the mentioned energy savings that come from reduced packaging.
47. Dispose toxic waste properly
Eliminate mercury from your home by purchasing items without mercury, and dispose of items containing mercury at an appropriate drop-off facility when necessary (e.g. old thermometers).
48. Lead-free paint
If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wallpaper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
49. Rent instead of buy
Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.
50. Roll instead of spray
At home or in the office, paint the walls with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimise harmful emissions.
Source: Arabian Man