Big Improvement

Small Changes Add Up to Large Cut in Carbon Emissions




A new study from Michigan State University demonstrates how altering everyday decisions can collectively reduce direct U.S. household carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent annually in 10 years, “with little or no reduction in household well-being.” That’s equal to 7.4 percent of U.S. household emissions, and more than the total national emissions of France.

Researchers note that most policy attention has been placed on long-term options such as clean energy technologies and cap-and-trade programs, but changing individual habits is reasonably achievable in the near-term. Adopting fuel-efficient vehicles and smart home weatherizing top the list of doable changes, followed by use of energy-efficient appliances and heating/cooling equipment, as well as fuel-smart driving behavior, low-rolling resistance tires and carpooling (http://BehavioralWedge.msu.edu/).

Entrepreneur Robin Chase, who founded Zipcar (Zipcar.com), the biggest urban car-sharing program in the world, is now also catalyzing a broader communications network for carpooling, called ride sharing, via local social networks of friends, coworkers, fellow church-goers and school chums. She notes that car sharing, in which users reserve and pay for the time they use a common-access vehicle, has been proven to reduce road time, as well as personal gas, insurance and maintenance costs.

Create or join a ride-sharing group at http://GoLoco.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags