by Michele McKay
Global warming - the rising of temperatures across the planet - is caused by human activities associated with industrialization, economic development, and deforestation. The carbon dioxide emissions that result are thinning our earth's ozone layer and trapping heat inside the atmosphere. Global warming has accelerated in the past two decades, and increasing temperatures will gradually cause devastating changes on our planet. Here in the Pacific region, these impacts can be observed in the rising of sea levels and the degradation of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.
It is possible for each of us to make a difference in the global warming process by helping to reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. You can do your part by following these Every Day = Earth Day practices:
- Instead of driving alone in your car, join a carpool, take mass transit, walk, or ride a bike – anything that reduces the amount of gasoline you use. For every single gallon of gasoline burned, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are shot into the atmosphere.
- When you do drive, keep your car tuned up and its tires properly inflated to save on fuel costs as well as to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
- The next time you buy a car, choose one that is highly fuel-efficient.
- Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Turn off your TV, video player, stereo, computer, lights and fans when you aren't using them.
- Develop a plan to reduce daily electricity use around your home. Ask each member of your household to take responsibility for a different electricity-saving action.
- Make an effort to cut down on meat consumption and to buy organic produce.
- The next time you buy an appliance, purchase an energy-efficient model. Look for the Energy Star rating, awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
- Install solar rooftop water heating and photovoltaic systems if possible.
- Move closer to work if feasable. Reducing or eliminating your commute will save time, money, and energy.
Practice the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle to lower overall energy consumption.