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What You Can Do to Reduce Emissions

Updated on March 13, 2008

Did you know that a single-person household can cut their yearly emission by 1,200 pounds by simply replacing the incandescent light bulbs in their home with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs?

If you aren’t sure what your share of yearly emissions is to the environment, I recommend you read Calculate Your Personal Emissions to learn more. Once you know how much you produce, you can find ways to reduce your emissions. A few small changes can create big reductions in emissions, which is fabulous for the environment.

If everyone in the United States cut their carbon emissions by 2% for the next 40 years, we would slash our yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. That’s right, 2% locally for 80% nationally. Small steps cover big distances.

Doing Your Part: Some Emissions Reducing Tips

Be Green At Home – Fluorescent light bulbs provide the same warm glow as the incandescent bulbs, but use significantly less (about a quarter less) electricity. They also last ten times longer than incandescent do. When you shop for new appliances, try to purchase items with the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) Energy Star label. These efficient appliances will cut your electric bill while being environmentally friendly. You can also adjust your thermostats, heater and air conditions, by just a few degrees to use less energy. Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed to reduce energy loss while using heaters and air conditioners.

Renewable Energy Sources – Check with your utility companies to see whether they offer “green power” alternatives. It might cost you a few extra dollars to participate in this program, but it will cost you much less in the long run. Green power is generated from solely wind, solar, or other renewable energy resources.

Drive Smart – Of course, you can just leave the car at home and find another way to get around, like walking, bicycling, or public transportation. But this isn’t always possible for everyone, so there are some things you can do to cut back on emissions while driving: keep your tires properly inflated and your engines well-tuned. It makes a difference. When you purchase your next car, remember that hybrids add up to 2/3 less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than traditional car models do.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – This is my favorite thing to remind people of, and it’s not only because I love alliteration. When you recycle, you cut down on emissions that are caused by manufacturing new products. Recycling products spares the forests of the world, which soak up extra carbon dioxide.

The health of the planet affects the health of all of us. Global warming alone is expected to lead to a rise in infectious diseases, not to mention natural disasters that could trigger famines. Taking small steps now can have a huge impact on our future. The average American can live a green lifestyle with a bit of effort.

What are you doing to reduce your personal emissions?

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    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 9 years ago from UK

      Nice hub Stacie. I recently wrote a similar hub myself, but you've thought of several things that didn't occur to me. Wouldn't it be great if everybody actually did try that little bit harder? There's such a culture of acquisition these days. Everything has to be the right label, the latest, the most innovative. And as all the new things appear, so the old things are consigned all to readily to the trash!

      Cheers for now, Mandy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      What a great hub Stacie. The 'eco-movement' has been one of my main interests for years. I applaud every attempt at "getting the word" spread.

      awesome hub regards Zsuzsy