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How can we decrease our carbon footprint?

One of the lessons we are talking about in Portage & Paddle Youth Crew is the impact we make on the earth with the decisions that we make everyday. There are simple things we can do to improve our carbon footprint. The crew will learn about how they each have a carbon footprint and this is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air because of the energy we each use through electricity, making food, driving, flying, and other things. We can make a difference everyday by making better choices here and there. Some of the ideas we had:

One of the easiest things is simply turn off lights, TVs, computers, when you do not need them.

Keep the air conditioning lower when it’s hot. Use fans because they use a lot less power.

Turn down the heat when it’s cold. Sweaters, blankets, and socks are cozy and better for the planet.

Walk or ride your bike instead of taking a car everywhere. Even a 2-mile car trip puts 2 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. So when you have to drive, try to carpool or have a friend pick you up so you are not driving extra miles.

Instead of using a drive-thru just park the car and walk inside rather than sitting in a line of cars with the engine running and polluting.

You can swap the older version of lights (incandescent light bulbs) for new compact fluorescent lights. They use only 25% as much electricity to give the same light and last ten times longer.

Unplug all your electronics. Electronics including TV, DVD player, Nintendo, Xbox use power even when it is “off.” Appliances like clocks, toasters, computers, also suck power even when they are not being used. Plug these kinds of things into a surge protector or power strip that has an on/off switch. Then you can shut off all the power without unplugging each gadget.

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