Family Challenge: Reduce Carbon Emissions by 10%

Circle 10/10/10 on your calendar. That’s the date. The place is wherever you live. And the point is to do something (big or small) that will help deal with global warming in your community. The goal- the simple actions we take can help reduce our personal carbon emissions by 10% by 10/10/10!

It only takes a few simple changes to take a substantial slice off your carbon footprint by 10% without any significant change in your lifestyle. The savings in cash may be noticeable as well. Imagine if we all rode our bikes or carpooled to work, church, or to the store on 10/10/10? The positive environmental impact and health benefits would be measurable globe wide!! Now try to implement these changes daily, and together we will make a measurable difference today and for tomorrow’s generation.

According to 350.org: “We’re calling 10/10/10 a Global Work Party, with emphasis on both ‘work’ and ‘party’. In Auckland, New Zealand, they’re having a giant bike fix-up day, to get every bicycle in the city back on the road. In the Maldives, they’re putting up solar panels on the President’s office. In Kampala, Uganda, they’re going to plant thousands of trees, and in Bolivia they’re installing solar stoves for a massive carbon neutral picnic.” Over 5500 events are registered across the globe with 350.org.

‘I’ve never knowingly done anything green in my life. Where do I start?’

Over 10 ideas you can implement NOW are listed below. Others ideas you can personally or as a community implement can also be found at www.350.org/workparty-ideas. Challenge yourself to accomplish at least 1/2 of the following ideas by 10/10/10. It’s really very simple…

• Adjust your home heating/cooling controls so the furnace is only on when you need it. Large numbers of households still don’t use their heating controls properly. Set the timer correctly, make sure the temperature sensitive valves on the radiators are in the correct position, and use a programmable thermostat to control temperatures (a lot of people use it simply as an on/off switch). **
• Turn the thermostat setting down 2 degree in the winter and turn it up 2 degrees in the summer. **
• Use a refillable water bottle (stainless steel or BPA free plastic). DO NOT buy or use disposable or recyclable plastic water bottles. Not sold? Watch this to see what impact our bottled water obsession has on our life and planet in a very short period of time: www.thestoryofbottledwatter.org. **
• Use your own coffee cup or travel mug at the coffee shop- most offer discounts for such honorable efforts as well!
• Avoid drive-thru’s. Park, turn your car off, enjoy stretching your legs and walk into the bank, restaurant, video store to complete your transaction.
• Purchase paper items made from recycled materials: paper, paper towel, toilet paper, bags.
• Reduce electricity bills by turning off appliances at the wall when they are not in use, rather than leaving them on standby. This won’t save huge amounts of electricity, but depending on the # of blinking appliances and rechargers on standby, it will help considerably reduce “phantom load”. (how many appliances do you need reminding you of what time it is anyway?). If we all did this, it would reduce a measurable amount of carbon emissions. **
• re-use 1-sided paper: in your printer, copier, fax machine for ‘draft’ print outs or non essential copies, for note pads, for childrens’ art projects/drawings.
• Put energy-efficient bulbs in your lamps and as many light fixtures as possible. This alone could save 10% of your electricity bill. **
• Pledge to not drive on journeys of less than a mile or so. Almost 30% of journeys are less than two miles. Would a bike be better, more convenient and more fun? Try public transport or carpooling. Encourage children to ride the school bus or walk to school vs. getting a lift from mom or dad.
• Recycle. Cardboard, glass, metal, plastics, paper, newsprint, compost food waste, give the clothes to the charity shop (in fact, buy clothes from the charity shop too). All these things will make a small difference individually, and taken together they might shave a few percent off your total carbon footprint. **
• reconsider what you ‘need’, ‘want’ and can ‘live without’ before every purchase. This makes for good family discussions and watchdogs. Not sold on how married most individuals in developed countries are to their stuff? take 10 minutes and view this informative video- with you family… www.storyofstuff.com/
** Encourage your workplace to do the same.
(bits and pieces of above are adapted from www.350.org/ and www.guardian.co.uk/environment/10-10)

2018-04-25T19:35:03+00:00 By |Articles, Resources|