In honor of Earth 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 leave a few ideas of your own!
You can also check out our own staff’s tips for combating global warming here.
This is what we have done: 1) Installed insulated shutters on windows. We open them according to the sun (allow or block). 2) Added insulation to our attic. 3) Installed double pane windows and left the storm windows (triple glazing). 4) Reduced the hot water boiler temperature. 5) Installed compact fluorescent lights in almost every room. 6) Recycle all plastic, glass, papers. 7) Use our compact cars (old but with good mileage per gallon) 8) Recycle all bags at the supermarket (including the ones dispensed for vegetables and fruit)
- Luis, Long Valley, New Jersey
Taking the bus to work and encouraging others to do so.
- Robert, San Diego, California
I recycle everything I can get my hands on...I give it a second life, if possible. I take shorter, cooler showers now. I dress warmer in the winter and turn down the heat. I drive more slowly to save gas. I don't accept the ridiculously unnecessary cup holders they give you for your paper coffee cups at coffee shops. I sign petitions for saving animals and National Wildlife Reserves and our National Forests. I stopped using harsh house cleaners, for they go into our Earth one way or another. I plant flowers and trees all over. I feel like it's my duty as a human...to plant trees and save animals and the world!
- Mich, Baltimore, Maryland
I hung up the keys to my car Nov. 6, 2008. I ride my bike or walk everywhere. I'm getting great exercise and I'm breathing real air. Oh, and I get to see the world up close.
- Pixie, Arcata, California
Funny enough going back to the good memories - as a child my mother kept the windows open for the fresh air - not only do i have wonderful memories of her kissing me good night and opening the windows but I have now started doing it regularly with my children. Turn the A/C off or the heat, open a window and let the moonlight in - now we not only all share the same happy memory BUT my electric and heating bills have gone down noticeably! My girls are appreciating the environment, snuggling in the blankets or enjoying the feel of a sheet and the outdoor are becoming part of the indoors! I make happy memories, save money and the earth!
We are reducing the carbon footprint of all the products we import for all our food products...either finding closer sources of the same things or finding equals that are local. We are starting a native food, regionally wild harvested section to our existing food business in hopes that value will be attached to wild lands other than fuel, and that people will become attached to and support local biodiversity that is right before their eyes! We are also instituting a permaculture training program for all our sources here and abroad. We are going off the grid with our residences and soon, all our facilities and equipment.
- Emily, Healdsburg, California
Recycle all paper, plastic, and toxic waste such as batteries. Donate old clothes. Turn off lights whenever not in use. Don't drive to places that I could walk to. Only sunlight in windowed rooms during the daytime
- R. R., Carmel, Indiana
I am a vegetarian nutritionist, and the only animal-based food my husband and I eat are eggs. These are eggs from cage free, vegetarian fed hens that are locally raised; however, over the winter I was forced to buy cage free organic eggs at our local Hannaford Supermarket as the local hens went on strike during the cold weather! The store bought eggs are sold in clear plastic containers. I am organizing an Earth Day event recycling those egg cartons as mini greenhouses for seedlings. The resulting plants will be planted in community gardens that two non-profit organizations are providing to help feed the public healthy organic vegetables. (I am project coordinator for one of those non-profits, Community Centered Works, the other organization is the First Presbyterian Church Community Garden) Eating locally grown food reduces our carbon footprint substantially and when people can just walk to their community garden or backyard plot, it reduces it further. Eating non-meat food also reduces your individual carbon footprint, as vegetables require much less water, land area per pound of nutrients and when they are grown organically they are not utilizing fossil fuel based fertilizers and pesticides. Plus, plants take carbon dioxide out of the air and give back clean oxygen. I hope to keep expanding this project until there is no one in town who can't "afford" organic vegetables. Our growing season is short here so we are looking ahead to building a greenhouse heated by compost to extend our season in the Great Northeast!
- Jamie, Johnston, New York
I always bring bags with me to the grocery store to avoid petroleum-based plastic bags, and even if I go to a department store, I bring a bag from that store from a previous trip instead of using a new one. I try to get most of my produce from our farmer's market, which is not shipped or trucked long distances. If I go out to eat, I bring a reusable container if I think I'll have leftovers. Also, when I eat red meat, I've been switching to sustainably raised grass-fed meat from the farmer's market.
I have changed to energy efficient light bulbs and I recycle everything I can. I have changed to dishwashing and laundry detergents that are environmentally safe two years ago and use cleaning products that are natural and environmentally safe also.
- Lisa, Phoenix, Arizona
I'm going to continue to refrain from consuming animals and animal products. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN attributes 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions to livestock. This includes 9 percent of all CO2 emissions, 37 percent of methane, and 65 percent of nitrous oxides. In addition to direct emissions, it includes deforestation to expand pastures and to create arable land use for feed crops, and energy to produce fertilizers, to run the slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants, and to pump water. Animal agriculture may also be the leading threat to biodiversity and wildlife through deforestation, land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing and sedimentation of coastal areas and facilitation of invasions by alien species. It is estimated that meat eaters have the impact of annually producing an extra 1.5 tons of CO2 equivalent compared to non-meat eaters. More than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the U.S. are used in animal production.
- Jackie, New York, New York
I carpool at least three times per week. We heat our house totally with wood (since 1977), all gathered from falling or dead trees this year and split by hand. I do use a recycled chainsaw to cut it to length. Our water is from a dug well and is only used for drinking, cooking and laundries. We have a large vegetable garden watered totally with rain water from our roof .We just finished our butternut squash from last summer. Our solar shower (summer only ) is a water pipe coil on the roof of the barn connected with a garden hose to our outside shower stall facing the garden ... great view .This makes me feel much better to see all we do. I'm a teacher too so some soap boxing too.
- Barry, New Hampton, New Hampshire
Taking the bus. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, Flickr.
Hybrid plugin. Photo by jurvetson, Flickr.