Here are a few ways to reduce greenhouse gases by decreasing your energy consumption.
- Use an energy-efficient washing machine and wash your clothes in warm or cold water rather than hot.
If your water-heater is over 5 years old, cover it with an insulating jacket and heat it to a maximum of 120 °F.
- Replace your appliances with energy-efficient models. Choose a product that displays the ENERGY STAR symbol rather than a classic model. For more information on these products, see the Natural Resources Canada Web site at http://www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/energystar-portal.cfm
- Decreasing the amount of garbage you generate by recycling and composting also helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
- Seal your doors and windows to prevent air leaks.
- Leave your car at home as often as possible and walk, cycle or use public transit.
- If you are planning to buy a new car, consider those that are more fuel-efficient. And always make sure that your car is in good condition and the tire pressure is appropriate.
- If you spend a few hours in the car driving to work every day, consider moving closer to your job; you’ll save a significant amount of time and money.
- Turn of the TV, radio, computer or any other device when you’re not using it. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them.
- Use programmable thermostats to save energy when you’re away from home.
- Plant trees, which turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Here are 10 more easy and practical tips that benefit the environment.
- Learn as much as possible about the plant and animal life around you: join an environmental group, visit parks, bird sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens or any other natural spot.
- If you hunt or fish, use lead-free ammunition or fishing gear to avoid poisoning any birds that may ingest these objects.
- When you travel, be “ecologically responsible”. Avoid products or activities that contribute to pollution.
- Be aware that you may need a permit to bring back certain travel souvenirs made out of plants or animals.
- Put bird feeders in your yard.
- Plant native, non-exotic plants, which were cultivated rather than taken from nature…and do not use pesticides.
- Reduce your contribution to the greenhouse effect: walk, cycle or take public transit, use an energy-efficient car and turn off your motor when parked or waiting for someone.
- Use compact florescent bulbs rather than incandescent bulbs.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle your plastic products and avoid over-packaged items. Use cloth bags to do your grocery shopping.
- Avoid wasting water: make sure your taps are well turned off.
Of course, these are just a few examples of the small actions you can take or habits you can adopt that will have a real impact on the environment. To help you make wise choices, you can also check other sources of information on the Internet. It’s up to you to take action!