1. Green our commutes:  
    • Transportation causes about 26% of US greenhouse gas emissions, so walking, cycling or taking transit whenever we can will save money and help us get into better shape. If we can’t go car-free, try carpooling or car sharing. Using the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle possible, or better still buying an electric car, is another option.
  2. Be energy efficient:  
    • We already switch off lights—what’s next? Change light bulbs to compact fluorescents or LEDs.
    • Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use. Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water. Dryers are energy hogs, so hang dry when possible. Install a programmable thermostat.
    • Look for the Energy Star® label when buying new appliances. A home energy audit is cheaper than we think—book one today to find even more ways to save energy.
  3. Choose renewable power:  
    • Ask your utility to switch your account to clean, renewable power, such as from wind farms, solar or hydro. If it doesn’t offer this option yet, ask it to.
  4. Eat wisely: 
    • Buy organic and locally grown foods. Avoid processed items. Grow some of your own food. Eat low on the food chain—at least one meat-free meal a day—since 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. Food writer Michael Pollan sums it up best: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
  5. Trim our waste: 
    • Garbage buried in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Keep stuff out of landfills by composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, and recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass. Let store managers and manufacturers know you want products with minimal or recyclable packaging.
  6. Let polluters pay: 
    • Carbon taxes make polluting activities more expensive and green solutions more affordable, allowing energy-efficient businesses and households to save money. They are one of the most effective ways to reduce climate impact. If your state doesn’t have a carbon tax, ask your politicians to implement one.
  7. Fly less: 
    • Air travel leaves behind a huge carbon footprint. Before booking book your next airline ticket, consider greener options such as buses or trains, or try vacationing closer to home. We can also stay in touch with people by videoconferencing, which saves time as well as travel and accommodation costs.
  8. Plant a Tree:
    • Trees absorb CO2. Plant for the Planet has a goal to plant a trillion trees; help them achieve their goal  at Plant for the Planet.
  9. Use Carbon Offsets: 
    • Carbon offsets let us compensate for causing greenhouse gas emissions – from air travel, for example – by contributing to an environmental program or industry that is certified to reduce greenhouse gases. If we think this sounds like buying a papal indulgence, well, that’s kind of how it works. The difference is that the contribution to sustainable energy is real. Air travel still dumps CO2 into the environment but this is one way to make up for it – at least a little.
    • The Sierra Club Outings program has chosenNativeEnergy to provide their carbon offsets, and here’s why: “NativeEnergy helps build renewable energy projects that deliver on their carbon reduction promises while also helping the communities where they are located.” Some projects include:
      • “Slow-sand” water filters in Ghana (instead of burning wood and charcoal to boil the water)
      • Methane capture for the Southern Ute Tribe in Colorado
      • Landfill gas-to-energy in New York state
      • Wind farms in northwest China
      • Small-scale hydropower in Brazil
  10. Get informed: 
    • Follow the latest news about climate change. Visit 350Pittsburgh and join our community. Host a presentation for your community or workplace by requesting a presenter.
  11. Get involved: 
    • Take a few minutes to contact your political representatives and the media to tell them we want immediate action on climate change. Remind them that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also build healthier communities, spur economic innovation and create new jobs. Next time you are at the polls, vote for politicians who support effective climate policies.
  12. Support and donate: Many organizations, including 350Pittsburgh are working hard on solutions to climate change and rely on financial support from citizens like you. Consider making a donation today by visiting their website at: https://world.350.org/pittsburgh/

 

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