Top 10 things YOU
CAN DO in
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
, then remember that
’s greenhouse gas emissions are associated primarily with transportation and
space heating. SO…
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
locally: Much of the food Sitkans eat travels many miles to reach our
plates. Agriculture plus food processing and distribution account for about
greenhouse gas production. Whenever
possible, get your food from the oceans and lands around
– 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”.
legislation at all levels of government to address the problem: Thank
the City of
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.
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.
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.
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
Global Warming Group