Be part of the climate change solution
10 ways to reduce your impact from The GreenCityBlueLake Institute
The United States is home to less than 5 percent of the worldís population but produces 25 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution that contributes to global warming. Here are 10 ways you can reduce your impact, save money and even improve your quality of life.
Note: These are estimates -- individual savings will vary based on many factors.
- Calculate your carbon footprint:
Understanding your carbon emissions is the first step toward reducing your carbon footprint. Find out how to calculate your carbon footprint at: www.gcbl.org/climatechange.
- Change a light bulb (or two):
Electricity consumption is one of the largest components of a householdís carbon footprint. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times as long.
- Drive less:
In the United States, a personal motor vehicle is the largest contributor to a typical household's carbon footprint. Combining trips, carpooling, using public transportation, walking and biking all help reduce your carbon footprint. Keep up with scheduled maintenance and properly inflate tires to make your existing vehicle as efficient as possible when you do drive. The next time you replace your vehicle, consider purchasing the most fuel-efficient model that meets your needs.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle:
Recycling materials requires less energy and fewer raw materials than creating a new product from scratch. Take reusable cloth bags to the store, donít accept paper and plastic bags when you really donít need them, and choose products that donít have excessive packaging.
- Use less water:
Pumping and heating water require large amounts of energy. Take shorter showers, install a low-flow showerhead, turn the water off while you shave or brush your teeth, and wash clothes in cold water.
- Plant a tree:
Deforestation accounts for up to 20 percent of the carbon dioxide released each year worldwide. Growing trees sequesters carbon, and trees also help cool cities and reduce power consumption for air conditioning.
- Eat lower on the food chain:
Adopt a diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables and minimizes meat, seafood and processed foods. Meat is a particular energy hog. Producing a pound of beef generates 36 pounds of carbon dioxide.
- Buy efficient appliances:
Replacing older appliances with Energy Star models can significantly reduce your electricity bill and your carbon footprint. Start with the refrigerator, which uses the most electricity in an average home.
- Adjust your thermostat:
Set your thermostat two degrees higher in summer and two degrees lower in winter to save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Change your furnace filter regularly and seal gaps around windows and doors to allow your heating and cooling systems to operate more efficiently.
- Spread the word:
Tell a friend about what you are doing to make a difference. Join the community conversation on www.gcbl.org/climatechange.
The GreenCityBlueLake Institute can help you lighten your footprint
The GreenCityBlueLake Institute is the new center for sustainability at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
On issues from climate change to urban greening, we are here to help the citizens of our region learn how to reduce their impact on nature and create green cities on a blue lake.
Visit us online at www.gcbl.org.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle
Cleveland, OH 44106