Earth Day: See what others are doing to fight global warming (Day 5)

Bicyclist. Photo by Lisa R. Cox, Flickr.

Earth Day is tomorrow! In honor of the big day, we asked our WildAlert subscribers what they do on an individual basis to combat climate change. We heard all kinds of great ideas from simple everyday efforts to major undertakings. Each day this week, we’ve been posting a sampling of those stories and tips. Check out today’s installation and come back tomorrow for more!

You can also check out our own staff’s tips for combating global warming here.

I rarely use my clothes dryer and hang washing outside most of the time to dry. In our household we turn off lights and unplug items we are not using, thus saving the generating of electricity and money at the same time. We recycle and compost also. We grow some veggies for freshness and hopefully to lesson transportation of veggies to the store. Lastly I try and incorporate all errands geographically in one day.
- Jean, Hendersonville, Tennessee

I think that we should be on Red Alert to what is happening to our earth. Everyone should be recycling. Most of my light bulbs are the compact bulbs. I recycle everything. I think when buying things about the packaging of the product. I use cloth bags when I shop instead of collecting plastic bags. With the help of Stroud Water Research, I planted 110 trees and shrubs in 2007 on my property. I mulch all these young trees in the spring and the fall. I am trying to teach the young people in my area about the benefits of the trees; they will help shade the fish and animals in the creek as well as clean the water and air. I conserve water by using water from a rain barrel to water the trees. It breaks my heart to see specials on TV that show the state of the Arctic Circle and the icebergs. I am so happy we now have a President to help combat climate change.
- Sue, Wilmington, Deleware

Bought a diesel power car (2009 VW Jetta). Gets 35 mpg around town, replacing my '79 Olds which achieved 13 mpg.
- Richard, Somerville, N.J.

The general public, myself included, needs to know more about this issue and how we can do one-on-one things to help. Having been fascinated with solar lighting and solar cells for year, I have started added these to my yard along the walkways and in the sitting garden. They use far less energy than electrics for the same purpose. I am curious to know if any companies are working on or may already have "Solar Street Lighting". Street lights are a necessity; but what if those lights were powered by the sun, like the ones in my yard which burn 8 hours on a full charge? Thanks for helping take care of us.
- Bobby, McMinville, Tennessee

Home-grown vegetables. Photo by sbocaj, Flickr.What a different world this would be today if 10,000 years ago a few small groups of humans had not journeyed out to populate this planet, our home. Pandora's box has, however been opened, and we now face a monumental choice. Do nothing (the easy way), or take action (a new path). I have decided to take action. I have always recycled, shut off power users, and conserved water. I am now also composting extensively, drive a Subaru PZEV vehicle, and am preparing to change my life by moving to Vermont, and raising sheep and vegetables sustainably. Crazy? My friends think so, but I think it will be helpful to all. It is time we stop consuming, and start replenishing.
- Dorian, San Francisco, California

Everything I buy, such as containers, plastic bags, etc., I try to put to double or triple use. By the time I throw out things, they have been used 2 or 3 times. I also try to make sure that everything that is recyclable goes into the recycling receptacles.
- Charles, Oakland, California

The most important thing I am doing to combat climate change is by driving a small engine Toyota as slowly as I can drive safely. I have done everything possible to get better gas mileage. Tire pressure, tune-ups, synthetic oil, and keeping the car light as possible have given me an average of 40 mpg. I keep my speed a few miles below the speed limit. I limit its use and plan my shopping trips very carefully. Next, I am very careful with my utilities. Everything that drains electricity all the time is unplugged when not in use like the coffee pot and the garage door opener. My refrigerator is an energy star. I am very conservative on hot water usage. No electric light is left on when I am not in the room, and I have replaced all my light bulbs with the efficient kind. I have discussed the price of electric bills with my neighbors and they will not believe that I pay 1/4 what they do in similar size houses. My oil heat bill is also about half less than my neighbors for similar size houses. Everyplace in the house is insulated to the max and we have the new energy windows. I set the thermostat at 68 in the winter which is plenty warm for me and my 85 year old mother. I don't use the air conditioning in the summer unless the heat becomes a health concern.
- Neil, Towson, Maryland

I recycle everything I can (my city doesn't take cardboard or I would recycle that as well!) I try to make all my trips across town multi-stop to save gas and carbon emissions, and I use fluorescent bulbs in all the lighting in my house. I have a high efficiency washer to save water and energy and I hang clothes in the warm months to save energy.
- J., Sparks, Nevada

Seattle Public Transportation. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, Flickr.Everybody watches the weather. Have you noticed how the weather people totally ignore or downplay climate change? In the middle of a dry spell, you'll hear them predict a dry weekend and say something like "that's great for all your weekend plans!" OR they may predict a day/weekend in the middle of winter that is 20 degrees warmer than normal. Sure enough, they'll gush about how great that is for us all. The people doing the weather either are meteorologists. Certainly they know what's happening. AND they are in the perfect position to educate people about it. But it seems as though they all take the attitude that we can't get people in a panic. I believe that people can handle the truth. I believe that they should be told the truth. The weather forecasting infrastructure is in place. It is the perfect forum for educating people about climate change. All that needs to happen is for someone in charge to snap their fingers and say "make it so." No extra money need be spent; the time slots are there, the knowledge is there (all those meteorologists), the audience is there. I have only been able to put the bug in one person's ear that has access to those kind of people. More people need to work this issue!
- Tom, Chloe, West Virginia

I use both sides of the paper at the office, and recycle all the office paper I get my hands on. I got one of my other coworkers to save their paper 'trash' so I could recycle it. I use the runoff water from sinks and shower at home to water my plants. I turn off lights as I leave the room, even at work. I only run the water at low volume. I flush every other time I use the toilet. I turn lights on only when I absolutely need to, and keep appliances not in use unplugged.
- Monica, Austin, Texas

photos:
Bicyclist. Photo by Lisa R. Cox, Flickr.
Home-grown vegetables. Photo by sbocaj, Flickr.
Seattle Public Transportation. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, Flickr.

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