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Sustainable Madison Committee

Betsy Uhlman, Chair

Carbon Calculator/Green Tips

For your personal Carbon Calculator:

https://www.earthlab.com/createprofile/reg.aspx

Interested in taking a green plunge?

Green Pledge This pledge is an affirmation of your commitment to personal environmental actions and policies. By electronically signing this pledge, you commit to taking (or continuing to take) concrete personal actions both in your personal and professional lives to make the world greener and more sustainable.

Sign your name below via a comment or even better, list at least one measure you have you taken or will you take to make the Earth better off.

Which of the following measures have you taken or will you take to make the Earth better off at home? o Recycling at home
o Buying appliances (refrigerator, dish washer, computer, etc.) with your country approved energy efficiency rating, such as Energy Star in the United States 
o Converting at least 50% of your house to compact florescent lightbulbs or LEDs 
o Installing low flow water fixtures 
o Adjusting your heating/cooling equipment to use less energy (higher temps in the summer and lower temps during the winter)
o Using environmentally friendly cleaning products throughout your house 
o If available, purchasing renewable energy from your local utility company 
o Composting your organic waste
o Aggressively using public transport

 

How many of the above actions do you pledge to make a new part of your life? 

 

Simple things to do at your home:

1.The Tire Gauge

Psst! Did you know that checking your vehicle’s tire pressure on a regular basis and making sure they are inflated to the correct level can improve your fuel efficiency by 4%? That will save you 2 weeks’ worth of fuel each year, and reduce the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions coming out of your tailpipe—simple actions matter!

If every Canadian driver checked and maintained proper tire pressure on a regular basis, each year we’d… Save over $600 million on fuel, Cut 1.4 M tons of CO2 and Prevent traffic accidents.

Not to mention, your tires will last longer.

So save money, help the planet, and protect yourself and your passengers. Keep an accurate tire gauge in your car and remember to check and maintain your tire pressure each month and before any long road trips (after you load the car).

From OneChange.org

2. Green Cleaning Tips--See Download in right column.

3. CFL Bulb information from Energy Star: 

    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=LB&__utma=172919287.1561646147.1358366982.1358366982.1358904164.2&__utmb=172919287.4.8.1358904179466&__utmc=172919287&__utmx=-&__utmz=172919287.1358904164.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=172919287.|1=visitor%20id=1561646147=1&__utmk=152129529

4.Household Green Tips Plan:

Energy:

1. TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT 2° IN THE WINTER AND  RAISE IT 2° IN THE SUMMER - In winter, set thermostats to 68° when you're home, and lower to 60° at night and when you're out. Every 1°F reduction in an 8-hour period means a 1% reduction in CO2 emissions.  Use a programmable thermostat. Installing a ceiling fan can save as much as $600 a year in avoided AC electrical costs.

 

2.  USE A POWER STRIP AS A CENTRAL “TURN OFF” POINT WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED USING APPLIANCES, COMPUTERS OR CHARGERS - Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment.

 

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory calculates that these energy “leaks” account for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption, cost more than $3 billion annually, and spew 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Using a power strip for your computer, TV and video, Audio and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.

 

    Shutting down a computer can save you between $70 and $100 per year per computer in electric costs.  Screen saver programs won’t do that. Chargers can consume as much as 10% of a home’s electricity.  As soon as charging is complete, unplug the charger.

 

3. CHOOSE ENERGY STAR RATED APPLIANCES AND CFLs WHEN REPLACING OLD APPLIANCES AND LIGHT BULBS - www.energystar.gov. If every family in Bedford changed 5 bulbs in their home to CFLs, it would equal the effect of taking 650 cars annually off the road. www.18seconds.org.   

 

4. GET A HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENT - http://energizeny.org

 

5. REPLACE THE ENERGY YOUR HOME USES WITH POWER SUPPLIED BY CLEAN, RENEWABLE SOURCES - You can tell your energy provider to replace the energy your home uses with energy from solar or wind farms in New York State.  Go to www.powernaturally.org for information or contact your supplier.

 

Transportation:

1. BIKE AND WALK MORE - The health benefits are obvious and the general consensus among Mayors and Town Supervisors throughout the USA is that walkable communities are the most energy efficient communities.

 

    Also, children walking to School helps fight obesity related illnesses through everyday exercise, and connects them to the natural world.

 

2. DON’T ALLOW CAR TO IDLE FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS BEFORE TURNING IT OFF - Turning your car off than on again uses less fuel than allowing it to idle for 10 seconds.  It also will help in the fight against related health issues like asthma. 

 

3. DRIVE LESS, DRIVE SLOWER, AND AVOID JACK RABBIT STARTS AND STOPS - Driving your car 65 mph instead of 75 mph will cut your fuel consumption by 15% and save the equivalent of around 40 cents per gallon.  Driving less aggressively can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 33%.

 

Waste + Recycling:

1. COMPOST - A whopping 61% of all of your household waste is compostable and does not belong in a landfill.  Learn more at http://www.composting101.com/how-it-works.html

 

2.RETHINK BOTTLED WATER - Bedford has some of the best drinking water on the planet.  Get a reusable water bottle and fill up for free from a source you know and can trust. 

 

3.REFUSE, REUSE AND RECYCLE - Don’t buy overly packaged goods, refuse unnecessary bags, recycle plastic, aluminum and paper products and when you shop, use only re-usable bags never plastic or paper. 

 

4.REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CATALOGUES YOU GET - The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year.  Sign up for this service and they say they’ll eliminate 80-95% of unsolicited mail.  It will save time and trees.  Find out more at: www.41pounds.org

 

Americans are sent more than 19 billion catalogs (produced from more than 53 million trees) each year.  Cut down on resource-intensive forms of shopping.  Catalog Choice is a website started by several environmental groups partnered with retailers and allows you to remove yourself from over 1000 mailing lists. www.catalogchoice.org

 

5. RECYCLE OLD ELECTRONICS, COMPUTERS AND CFL BULBS - Many local retailers and Home Dept are now recycling CFL bulbs. Information on Westchester County’s recycling program can be found at: www.westchester.gov

 

Food + Agriculture:

1. FEED YOUR FAMILY AT LEAST ONE MEAL PER WEEK OF LOCALLY PRODUCED FOOD - Information and resources for eating locally are available at: 

 

    www.rainbeauridge.com

    www.tablelocalmarket.com

    www.slowfoodusa.org

 

    Shop at local farmer’s markets!

 

2. GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLE GARDEN / SUPPORT SCHOOL VEGETABLE GARDENS -

 

3. COMPOST YOUR OWN FOOD WASTE, YARD WASTE AND LEAVES -

From Bedford2020.org

5. Source on Green Living: 

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/?source=NavEnvGG

 

6. Top Ten "Go Green" Pledges in Prescott, AZ

1.  

I will plant one tree

2.  

I will eat one vegetarian meal each week

3.  

I will turn my computer monitor off overnight

4.  

I will change 4 light bulbs to cfl's

5.  

I will inflate my car tires

6.  

I will use public transit 1 day per week

7.  

I will use my blinds in an energy efficient way

8.  

I will switch to green power

9.  

I will unplug my cell phone charger when not in use

10.  

I will use natural pesticides in my garden