Top 10 things YOU CAN DO in SITKA

to STOP Climate Change

   

The key to changing the world is changing how we think and how we do things.  SO…  

Do the simple things first!  Once you’ve started with these you’ll be ready to tackle bigger items: Turn lights and other appliances off when not in use.  Close your curtains at night to keep heat in and cold out (insulated curtains and window treatments work best); Recycle (aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, cardboard and newspapers)…recycling can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by several hundred pounds per year; Wear an extra layer and lower your thermostat setting by one or more degrees. By setting your thermostat one degree lower you can save up to 3% annually on your heating bill. 

 

 If you want the biggest impact in Sitka , then remember that Sitka ’s greenhouse gas emissions are associated primarily with transportation and space heating.  SO…  

  1. Work on reducing global climate changing emissions through transportation choices: Walk or bike when possible; Carpool with others; Ride the bus; When purchasing a new vehicle or picking which vehicle to drive around town, buy or use the smaller vehicle with the highest fuel economy; Keep your car tuned up and its tires properly inflated and remove unused roof racks; Don’t leave your car idling – ALL of these will save money and reduce fossil fuel use.
  1. Remember, transportation does NOT mean by land only; choose to reduce global warming at sea:  Travel on step when possible, but don’t run at top speed – you use a lot more fuel, and create more emissions, at top speed; Keep your boat tuned up; Don’t leave the boat idling; Use the kicker motor for slow speeds; When the motor dies, replace with a more efficient, less polluting 4-stroke motor.
  1. Insulate, Insulate, INSULATE (and weatherize in all ways) to reduce the amount of energy consumed for heating and save money: Most homes in Sitka do not have enough insulation for the climate of this region…exterior walls should be at least R-21, ceilings at least R-38, and the floor at least R-30 - when insulating, start from the top of your house and move down; Maintain weatherstripping around doors and windows (including around the bottom); Caulk around ducts, cracks, and openings that allow cold air into the home; In older homes, most heat is lost through single pane windows…make it a priority to replace windows.
  1. Heat (your now well insulated home!) smart: Have a “dual fuel” heating system so you can switch between electric heat and another option (fuel oil, wood stove, etc.) depending on electricity availability; Use a programmable thermostat so that your home is not being heated while you are away…by using a programmable thermostat, you can save about 1,800 ponds/year of carbon dioxide; Heat rooms you occupy rather than the entire house.  Wear extra layers so you can keep the heat down; Turn down the heat at night and use an electric blanket if you need extra warmth.  Close the flue on wood stoves and fireplaces.
  1. Conserve energy…the electric energy you conserve today provides better electricity options in the future: Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LEDs that use significantly less electricity than incandescent bulbs; When purchasing new appliances, replace them with the most efficient appliance possible - The ENERGY STAR label is an easy way to find products that use less energy than similar products; When washing clothes use cold water if possible and make sure settings are appropriate for the size of the load…wash full loads of dishes and clothes; Plug electronics into a power strip and turn it off when nothing on it is being used – this reduces “phantom loads” of electricity; insulate hot water pipes in areas that are not heated or locate the hot water heater in a heated space to reduce heat loss to surrounding air.
  1. Eat locally: Much of the food Sitkans eat travels many miles to reach our plates. Agriculture plus food processing and distribution account for about 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas production.  Whenever possible, get your food from the oceans and lands around Sitka – eating local fish, deer, berries, etc. is good for you.  Grow your own vegetable garden or share gardening tasks with friends to reduce your “food miles”.
  1. Support legislation at all levels of government to address the problem: Thank the City of Sitka for signing the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement; Attend and speak at City Council meetings in support of local choices and legislation that reduces climate-changing emissions; Write your legislators about current legislation that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  1. Reduce Your Consumption:  Reuse water bottles for cold water; Bring your own bag to the store for purchases; Buy products with minimal packaging; Wear clean clothes twice or more to reduce your use of soap, water, energy, and time; Join “Freecycle” to acquire and get rid of things locally.
  1. Encourage Others to Conserve: Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.
  1. Been there?  Done that already?  GREAT!  Now it’s time to take the next step – GET INVOLVED IN REDUCING SITKA’S CARBON FOOTPRINT:  Get involved with your local citizen activist group – Sitka Global Warming Group (SGWG); Attend one of our monthly meetings – Every 2nd Wednesday of the Month at 7:00 p.m. at Harrigan Centennial Hall or get involved with one of our global warming committees; Support SGWG’s Electric Car initiatives; Work with SGWG and the City of Sitka to reduce emissions.


Sitka Global Warming Group

(907) 747-2708