Global Warming: Five Simple Ways to Be Part of the Solution

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Home | Live Better | Green | Global Warming: Five Simple Ways to Be Part of the Solution

It’s easy to throw up your hands and say there’s nothing you can do as an individual to improve global warming. But it’s just not true. There are lots of simple things each of us can do to help slow down global warming. Here are five painless ideas. Actually, they’re better than painless--they’ll make you feel good about contributing to the solution instead of the problem. For more information, check out the Union of Concerned Scientists or the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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  1. Your Car: Every gallon of gas you use will dump 25 pounds of heat trapping carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. The next time you buy or rent or lease a car, make sure it is as fuel efficient as possible. You’ll save money, too.
  2. Appliances: Look for the Energy Star label when you buy new appliances. This is almost a no-brainer, because even though sometimes the more energy efficient models cost more, they easily pay back the extra cost in energy savings. If you’re still unconvinced, here’s another reason: The UCS says that if each household in the United States replaced its existing appliances with the most energy efficient models available, it would save 15 billion dollars in energy costs and eliminate 175 million tons of heat trapping gases.
  3. Light Bulbs: This is one we love, because it is so easy and can have such a huge impact. Replace one regular light bulb with an energy saving fluorescent. They’re called CFL's (compact fluorescent light) bulbs and they’re now manufactured in a variety of sizes and shapes. Another fascinating statistic: If every household in the U.S. replaced just one light bulb with a CFL bulb, it would have the same positive impact on global warming as removing 6.8 million cars from the roads. Amazing, isn’t it? You can find CFL bulbs at Home Depot or Ace Hardware, or online at a great "green" home site called www.eartheasy.com.
  4. Get A Home Energy Audit: Many utility companies offer this service, and it really can make a difference. You’ll see where your home is wasting energy without you even knowing it, and find out what you need to do to fix the problem. Again, you’ll save money and help save the environment.
  5. Clean Up Your Act: If you remember to vacuum the condenser coils in the back of your refrigerator twice a year, and clean the filters on your heating and air conditioning systems every year, you’ll save money and breathe cleaner. And remember that one large refrigerator is cheaper and more efficient to run than two small ones.

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It’s getting easier every day to be a good environmental citizen.
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