8 Ways Americans and America Can Fight Global Warming Right Now
America can ‘harvest’ huge amounts of waste right now with these simple methods.
- Break the habit of turning on lights when you walk into a room.
In Europe, even 40 years ago many rooms had timers on every wall switch, yet we still behave as if the electricity to power our lights is not just free, but harmless. It is not; even the most environmentally sound power plants take a lot of carbon to create energy. For instance just to make a wind turbine or solar panel still has a huge carbon cost. And you’ll save money.
- Don’t flush the toilet every single — get it, single? — time you use the bathroom.
The energy used to collect, filter, and distribute water is huge. Multiply this by 320 million, and again by several times a day, and just try to picture how much energy that is. If it grosses you out to see the dirty toilet, then use a coloring agent in the tank. And close your bathroom door if you have pets. And you’ll save money.
- Break the habit of running water when you wash dishes or brush your teeth.
Consider putting a large stainless steel bowl in your sink to encourage first-rinsing without always running the water. And did you know there are now foot-pedal switches that can be installed to run your sink intermittently as you need the water. And you’ll save money.
- Dry your jeans and maybe even towels by hanging them, somewhere, anywhere.
Whatever the heaviest things are in you dryer, just let them dry on a hook indoors if you have no other option. And here’s a benefit, it might increase the humidity in what is too often dry indoor air in homes that have forced-hot-air heat. You don’t have to go fully retro, to the clothesline days, to reduce the dryer energy consumption considerably. And you’ll save money.
- Raise your air-conditioning temperature one degree.
Yes, each degree can be noticeable. But that just confirms how noticeable it is to your AC unit and the energy it consumes. And you’ll save money.
- Install mini skylights.
A new generation of relatively easy-to-install round skylights can provide light to smaller rooms so that you don’t even need lights during the day. And you’ll save money.
- The post office should still deliver 6 days per week, but every other day to each residential customer.
Do we really need our junk mail 6 days every week? If the post office delivered the mail to half their route every other day, they’d save millions of barrels of gasoline every year. I’m sure we’ll hear countless reasons why this is impossible, or costs someone a job, or whatever. Those are just excuses.
- Convert all off-peak, non-congested traffic lights to alternating STOP/CAUTION blinking signals.
All across America, cars are sitting at low traffic intersections while there is zero cross traffic. If these intersections converted, for instance, from 8 PM to 6 AM every day, to flashing red/yellow, we’d save millions of barrels of gas and even electricity in electric cars that are running all their other electrical functions while waiting. Virtually every modern signal is already run by a computer, so the change should be trivial. And notice that I’m suggesting alternating, so that each direction gets a clear chance. Two technical points: 1) I suggest that flashing red/yellow flash noticeably faster than the ordinary interval between red-to-green-to yellow. This will prevent the momentary perception that a yellow light is turning to red, when it is in fact continuously flashing yellow. It’s a subtle point, but some day you might experience this little pitfall. 2) We’re going to need lots of temporary signs, 25 meters from every light explaining what flashing yellow and red mean; a lot of people just don’t know. And you’ll save money.