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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 23, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesWe Can Fight Global Warming

We Can Fight Global Warming

Dear Source:

Not only see the movie" The Inconvenient Truth," but live your life in the manner that is more conscience of your impact on the world. There are many simple things we can as told to us by www.climatecrisis.net to reduce green house gasses or CO2 levels. I have tried to select options that are mostly for the Caribbean. These changes do not require major changes in your life, just commitment. The V.I. Energy office in their latest newsletter, at www.vienergy.org encourages us to contact them on setting up meetings on how to lower global warming emissions and lowering your WAPA bill, increasing energy efficiency, using solar power, wind energy and net metering. To schedule a speaker with them call 774-3320 on St.Thomas or St. John or 773-1082 on St. Croix. You may also e-mail them at dbuchanan@vienergy.org.
Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Move your thermostat up 2°. Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Clean or replace filters on your air conditioner. Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats will automatically lower air conditioning at night. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models. If each household in the U.S. replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we'd eliminate 175 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year! Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit on your hot water heater. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible. You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year. Turn off electronic devices when you're not using them. Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. The energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year! Only run your dishwasher when there's a full load and use the energy-saving setting. You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Buy recycled paper products. It takes 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide. I wish we had more recycling programs here in the VI. Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership. Get a home energy audit. Many utilities and the VI energy office offer this service. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist. Switch to green power. You can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. Buy locally grown and produced foods. The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community. Go visit the farmers on your island and support them. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen. Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce. Seek out and support local farmers markets. They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. Buy organic foods as much as possible. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we'd remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere! Avoid heavily packaged products. You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%. Eat less meat. Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible. Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year. I do this just about every other day to and back from work but we need more sidewalks and bike lanes. Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates. Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. Check your tires weekly to make sure they're properly inflated. Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference! When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle. You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! Try telecommuting from home. Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. Fly less. While it is hard to do this in the islands, consider traveling by boat between the islands more. Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.
These are just a few things that we must do to change the way we live and work because when our children ask us, when you knew their were costs to global warming what did you do? Could you answer them?

Jason Budsan
St. Thomas

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