Global Warming For Dummies
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What you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint depends on where you live, the resources you have, and how much time you can give. If you want to do something about global warming, however, then simple changes can have a big impact. Here are some straightforward solutions that you can implement right away:

  • Eat less (or no) meat. Going vegetarian has the same impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as if you trade in a regular car for a hybrid. The process of making a pound of commercial meat uses ten times more energy than making a pound of beans or grains.

  • * Hook your home up to clean energy. If you can’t afford to install solar panels or wind turbines on your roof, you can tap into an independent clean energy supplier. Let them build the wind turbine, and you reap the benefits. This step reduces your own emissions and helps build the renewable energy industry.

  • Insulate your house. The average home has the equivalent of a basketball-sized hole in the side of its wall. That’s how much heating and cooling you can keep from escaping if you properly insulate your home’s ceilings, walls, windows, and doors.

  • Travel smart. Reducing the number of flights you take in a year has a huge impact. One long-haul flight can be enough to double your impact on climate change, so think twice before taking that long trip. Whenever possible, take the train or bus. Minimize your driving by carpooling, walking, biking, or taking public transit.

  • Use only the energy you need. Develop energy saving habits — turn off the lights and TV when you leave the room, and turn down your thermostats when the house is empty in winter, and up in summer. Choose low-energy technologies by looking for the ENERGY STAR or Energy Savings logos on all appliances, electronics, computers, and more. These qualification standards highlight products that use the least energy.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party of Canada. Dr. May is a lawyer and the author of six books on Canadian environmental issues. She has been recognized twice by the United Nations for her work in the environmental movement.

Zoe Caron serves on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club of Canada. She works with Students on Ice Expeditions, bringing students from around the world to the Arctic and Antarctic to learn about the importance of these regions.

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