Global Warming is real - the polar icecaps are melting and polar bears are drowning. And it's our fault - our lifestyle is warming the planet. So, okay, what can we do about it?
First, let's take a detailed look at how you are contributing to global warming.
The obvious and easiest to control is your direct consuption of fossil fuel. Typically these are:
- gasoline in your automobile
When shopping for a new automobile, make fuel efficiency a priority. It doesn't change your lifestyle, and will save you money. It's more convenient to be able to drive further on a tank of fuel - fewer stops at the gas station! Take it a step further and consider alternative fuels: bio-diesel or ethanol.
- LP or natural gas for heating your home, cooking, heating water, drying your clothes
Why are we in such a hurry to get our clothes dry? If you hang them up to dry, they will eventually be just as dry, and you'll save money and reduce your green-house gas emissions at the same time. Bring back the clothes-line!
Then there' s secondary consumption of fossil fuels:
- to generate the electricity you draw from the grid
If your electric company offers you a "green" option, where you can insist that all the electricity you use be from renewable resources, take that option. If it costs a little bit more, you can offset that cost by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent or LED lights that use 1/4 as much electricity for the same amount of light. This doesn't change your lifestyle at all, and although the replacement bulbs cost some money, they pay for themselves.
- transportation of products you purchase
How much fuel did it take to bring all that stuff from China to Walmart? Look for locally produced products - you'll keep the money circulating in your own community, which is good for the community.
- in the manufacturing of goods that you use
This one is the most difficult to see, and perhaps the biggest contributor - the proverbial "smokestack industries". Legislation, consumer advocacy, and shareholder activism are techniques that have had some impact.