Take Action: Decrease Your Carbon Footprint

Sunday, April 2

(Adapted from Shannon & Jane's Do A Thing)

Today's Action: Decrease Your Carbon Footprint


The car in this picture is 19 years old, and well-oved by its owner. It seems like a responsible act, using something as long as possible. But this car also gets terrible gas mileage, mostly under 20 mpg. It turns out that buying a new car might be one of the best things some of us can do for our carbon footprint, according to this NYT article, which says that if every American household drove a car getting 56 mpg, we could reduce US carbon emissions by TEN PERCENT.

That's big. 

Small adjustments can add up too, though. For example, we could decrease emissions by another 2.2% if we each did ALL of these things:
  • Reduce the distance you drive by 1.2% (that's 13 miles/mo for the avg American driver)
  • Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure for max efficiency
  • Just be a chill driver; no speeding, hard stops, or gunning it
  • Fly 10% less
  • Turn down your thermostat by 3 degrees for 8 hrs/day in the winter
  • Replace 1 out of every 5 incandescent light bulbs with an LED
  • Eat 2% fewer calories (roughly, the # of calories in a miniature box of raisins)
  • Reduce meat consumption by 7%; about a pound per month, if you're an average American adult
  • Reduce the amount of food you throw away by 13%. Make a meal plan so you cook or freeze everything you buy before it spoils! Plan your leftovers carefully so you actually eat them!

Effort matters - take nothing for granted!