Friday, May 20, 2011

Ask Ida

How can I cut my carbon emissions?

Dear Ida B. Green,

I'm truly concerned about climate change and I un-derstand we need to cut emissions by 90 percent to stop the devastation. I try to do all the little things you men-tion but I see from my power and gas bills that I'm not even saving 50 percent. What can I do to really get to 90 percent?



Dear Struggling,

Since you asked ... let's start with transportation, as it produces approximately 25 percent of our annual greenhouse gas emissions. The average American uses 500 gallons ($2,000) of gasoline per person, per year. So, a 90 percent reduction would become 50 gallons per person, per year. Although this sounds daunting, the place to start for each of us is to set concrete goals for desired reductions and establish ways of achieving them.

Look first at where you spend most of your trans-portation miles. If you do the majority of your driving in the valley, consider replacing at least 90 percent of your driving time with walking, riding your bike or taking the bus. This will automatically require you to consolidate the errands that absolutely require a per-sonal vehicle. It may also push you to tune up your car, begin carpooling, using the school bus, or getting rid of your heaviest, gas-guzzling vehicle.

Keep in mind, these changes can also save you 90 percent ($1,800) on your increasing gasoline bills.

Keep it Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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