Oct 27, 2009

Simple Methods can Lower Greenhouse Gas Emission: Study

The question isn't "how to stop global warming?", it's "what impact can individuals have on global warming?". The new answer, according to a study, is, "A lot".

If Americans voluntarily adopt green living, they could lower carbon emissions by 7.4% over the next decade without negatively impacting their well-being, a study says. By switching to environmentally-friendly techniques (mentioned below), consumers can effectively by their country leaders some time in completing the daunting task of reaching an international climate agreement, concluded a research led by Michigan State University which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The recommended measures, from the study as well as other sources, include:
  • Driving fuel-efficient cars, and maintain highway speeds below 55 mph
  • Insulating homes, including water geyser
  • Regular car maintenance to check tire air pressure and engine efficiency
  • Air drying laundry (on clothes-lines), instead of using electric driers
  • Opting for efficient home heating systems
  • Ensure water-heating system is below 120 F and turned on only when bathing
  • Using slow-flow shower heads
  • Turn off or unplug appliances when not in use, especially TVs, and mobile phones
  • Installing energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Regular change of furnace filters
  • Plant a tree
  • Switch off lights when not in room
  • Walk, bike or share a car, instead of using your own all the time
  • Conserve use of water and other products
  • Use solar energy when possible
  • Re-use and recycle
  • Buy fresh food, instead of frozen
  • Buy local instead of imported items
  • Look into telecommuting options
  • Instead of air-travel, opt for travel by road
Previously, no study had quantified effects of these measures, but now researches also know these techniques cost very little and can pay off in the long-run. Consumers now have greater incentive to live green.

According to MSU, in 2005, U.S consumers were responsible for 690 million tons of carbon, which was 38% of total U.S carbon emissions and 8% of global emissions, which exceeded the total emissions (households and industries) by any other country, save China.

These findings are more relevant just ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit in December, but will have trouble being accepted since belief in global warming is falling in the U.S.

Sources: Science Daily, Science Now, Reuters, StopGlobalWarming.org,iStockPhoto
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