Climate change tip for October

Climate Change Tip Sheet from Kirkland Citizens Climate Lobby – Climate change is affecting real people right now and the problem gets worse and the solutions harder the longer we put off doing something about it. Most of you are concerned and want to take action but are often somewhat overwhelmed.

We have been asked to provide a series of monthly tips on personal actions that can have an effect.  Obviously not every action will be equally possible for everyone: putting up solar panels is out if you rent or live in a house that is heavily tree-shaded and using public transportation to get to work doesn’t make sense if you work from home. However we hope to inspire all of you to take the actions that are personally feasible and have an impact.

Climate change Tip for October: Turn down your thermostat this fall and winter

CCL-logoCooking, heating and cooling our homes account for approximately 12% of American Greenhouse Gas emissions according to the EPA.  Setting your home temperature three degrees cooler in the winter and three degrees warmer in the summer saves an average of 1050 pounds of C02 per year cutting heating and cooling emissions by 13.5%.

If every American household did this we would save 50 million tons of CO2 per year collectively. Furthermore this action doesn’t cost you anything and in fact saves you money.  Depending on the efficiency of your heating system and home insulation you save 1-3% of your annual heating costs for each degree you turn down the thermostat.

Several on-line calculators are available to calculate your carbon footprint.  Most give a reasonable ballpark estimate.  Most are associated with organizations looking to get you to purchase carbon offsets.  More on the effectiveness of offsets next month.

The EPA calculator remains a reasonable resource:

If you want to get more involved in the fight against climate change and need some help having an impact consider joining the Kirkland Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby.

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