The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers. This week’s tip was written by Sheda Morshed.
If you still deny that human activity is behind the extreme fires, droughts, floods, coral bleaching, species declines and mass extinctions, then this green tip is probably not for you. But if you see our planet as a living and interconnected system that has created—over millions of years—a hospitable environment where humans and other species can thrive, then you’re in the right place.
On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—a panel of hundreds of scientists from universities around the globe—published a new report.
An online search for the IPCC report will provide endless summaries of this 4,000-page document, and I urge you to peruse your favorite news sites.
The overarching takeaway: It is unequivocal that humans have altered the global climate system and things will soon become very bad (in some cases, catastrophic).
This is good news, however, because if humans are the problem, we can also be the solution.
Programs like the Cool City Challenge (coolblock.org) have quantified emission reductions from individual actions across participating neighborhoods. The IPCC report shows every fraction of emissions has a significant impact, so it’s critical that governments and individuals from the highest polluting countries need to act.
Here are a few examples of small steps everyone can take today:
Reduce your carbon and methane footprints: Divert organics from landfills through composting; ditch plastics; eat less or no beef; purchase “HFC-Free” and Energy Star appliances; buy organic foods whenever possible.
Reduce your demand on the grid: Change all light bulbs to LEDs; set your thermostat to 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter; on weekdays, don’t run heavy appliances between 4 and 9 p.m.
Prepare to install solar and storage: Visit Resilient Palisades’ Clean Energy team page for info on the upcoming Pali Microgrid. Fill out the survey if you have not done so already. Phase One starts this fall.
Stop idling. Studies show that idling your vehicle for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and releases more carbon dioxide than restarting your engine. In addition, unburned fuel from an idling vehicle is more polluting and harmful (especially important in school zones).
Go gas-free in your garden. This is a very low-hanging fruit with a very big impact. Ask your gardener to switch to all-electric mowers and blowers (more info on our website). Alternatively, switch to a 100% gas-free lawncare company like Suntek (sunteklawn.com).
Visit Resilient Palisades’ “Change tab” to learn more.
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