Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yup, it's our fault after all

In case you've been hiding under a rock, this has been one crazy winter. Here in Montreal, we didn't have any significant snow or cold weather until well into January, and now we've been in a deep freeze fro three weeks. Europe is barely having any winter at all.

Last week the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report basically telling us that human activity is indeed the principle cause of climate change.

The question then becomes - what can I do? If you aren't asking yourself this, go rent "An Inconvenient Truth" and then continue to read this post.(See the trailer.)

Making drastic changes to your lifestyle is not always reasonable when raising kids, but there are a lot of easy things that you can do to reduce your energy consumption and the amount of waste you produce. Some are obvious, others less so. Here's a quick list:

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  2. Turn down your heat by 1 degree Celsius (~2 degrees F).
  3. Buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
  4. Buy Energystar-rated appliances.
  5. Use the shortest cycle on your dishwasher.
  6. Hang clothes to dry.
  7. When it comes time to buy/lease a new car, ask yourself, do I really need an SUV/MiniVan/Chrysler 300?
  8. With older kids, set a "walking only" radius around your house. No exceptions. Not even for you.

  9. Get a domestic composter. There plenty of good options, even if you don't have a yard.

  10. You can clean almost anything with vinegar or baking soda and water.
There are plenty of other things that can be done. What do you suggest?

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