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14 Small Things You Can Do To Combat Climate Change

If you want to do your bit to combat climate change, then these are 14 small things you should start doing.

#1 Buy used when possible

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Buying new items requires a lot of raw materials and resources from production to packaging. This impact is highly reduced when you buy used items instead. So I try to buy everything used, if not refurbished. This also saves as lot of money when buying appliances, clothes, cell phones, items for your house etc.

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

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#2 Purchase energy efficient appliances and HVAC systems

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According to the EPA, appliances and HVAC systems make up a combined 58% of residential electricity usages. Making sure you have energy efficient appliances can make a significant cost savings in the long run as well.

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

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#3 Use Repurposed Packaging for Organizing

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Rather than purchasing new bins, trays and canisters, repurpose the packaging that has already come into your home. Glass jars are perfect for food and other storage. Boxes, box lids, plastic berry boxes and plastic clam shell boxes are all great for organizing. The plastic part of a box of container of cotton swabs can be used as a drawer organizer, Stop throwing away (or recycling) product packaging and start using it to organize

Contributors: Susan Santoro from Organized 31

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#4 Menu Plan

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Plan your meals and shop once a week. This reduces trips to the store. Planning also helps you use the food you already have and that reduces food waste.

Contributors: Susan Santoro from Organized 31

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#5 Say no to liquid and foaming soap!

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According to a 2009 study by the center for environmental engineering, bar soap has 25% less carbon footprint than liquid soaps such as liquid hand soap and liquid body wash. Foaming soap is even more wasteful because it is about a 4:1 dilution of liquid soap.

Contributors: Jennifer Dimitriu from Goodness Soaps

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#6 How to get the most out of each bar of soap

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Natural bar soap contains glycerin to moisturize the skin. Glycerin is a humectant that draws in water. This means that soap will become soggy if it is kept in a soap dish that allows water to collect around it, and unintended waste will result. Natural soaps should be kept on a high drainage soap mat that allows the soap to sit on a grooved drainage surface away from water. This will further minimize waste.

Contributors: Jennifer Dimitriu from Goodness Soaps

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#7 Go vegan

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Greenhouse gas emissions from raising animals for food has one of the largest contributions of greenhouse gasses. According to the EPA it is around 9% but you also have to take into account the amount of fossil fuels for transportation, energy to run the slaughterhouses, water to feed the animals etc. So the overall impact is massive. 

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

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#8 Purchase 100% wind electricity

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Electricity production is tied at 28% along with transportation according to the EPA for overall greenhouse emissions. Purchasing wind energy is extremely simple to do and besides being a little bit more expensive, it works just the same.

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

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#9 Focus on regulating body temperature

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Heating and cooling takes up 26% of residential electricity usages. By focusing on regulating body temperature instead of the air, we can save a lot of money. In the summer time consider the following:

  • Set your thermostat back a few degrees during peak hours to save up to 10% of your yearly heating and cooling bill. During peak hours your HVAC system has to work a lot harder and by setting it back a few degrees you can save a lot. If it makes it easier, you can also install a programmable thermostat or even a wifi enabled thermostat to turn the temperature back when you are away from your home.
  • Using your blinds is a simple solution that can reduce your heat gain by as much as 45%. This is an affordable and easy way to reduce your cooling bill. For even further savings, install plants and bushes close to your windows to also block out natural light and you can trim them in the winter time to allow light in.
  • Dress cooler, wear shorts and t-shirts to help release heat from your body
  • Eat lighter and fresh food. Hydrating foods such as melons and cucumbers are in season for a reason, they help you stay cool and hydrated.
  • Use a fan. Using your fan us very economical and can help cool your body feel up to four degrees cooler without turning up the thermostat.

During the winter time, you can get your favourite set of cosy pyjamas and blanket and heat up more easily without using the central heat and still feel comfortable.

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

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#10 Use Cloth Shopping Bags

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Keep a cloth bag of cloth bags by your door or in your car to use when shopping. This reduces the production of plastic shopping bags and the waste they add to the landfill. If you care for your cloth bags, they will last for years.

Contributors: Susan Santoro from Organized 31

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#11 Use LED

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A lot of us changed out our light bulbs a few years back for CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights). But now it is time to make another change to LED lights. Technology has brought LED lights to a point in which their luminescence is as good as or better than traditional light bulbs and CFL’s, but you use a fraction of the electricity. Additionally, one LED light can last up to 10 years, which means they are money savers and produce much less waste overall.

For our health and the environment, LEDs are non-toxic, unlike CFLs. Further, LEDs use as little as 10 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs, which means you waste less energy and require less power. This is great news for climate change reversal because when you combine renewable energy with using less energy overall, this has a double whammy effect of producing less greenhouse gases. And all you’re doing is changing out light bulbs.

Contributors: Terra Wellington from The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green

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#12 Walking: the ultimate low-carbon transportation mode

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Get in the habit of walking to nearby destinations to reduce the carbon footprint of your transportation activities. Get in the habit of walking up or down one or two flights of stairs instead of using the elevator. 

Contributors: John Z Wetmore from Perils For Pedestrians TV 

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#13 Get involved in Reward & Return Schemes

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Ideas such as the recent campaign from Coca-Cola whereby for each returned empty drinks bottle, you get a 50% off voucher for a theme park.

Contributors: Emma Watson from UnisanUK 

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#14 Request that your place of work adopt a recycling program

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Not only proven increase recycling, it's proven to drive down the cost of managing the waste (for the business) - so a win:win all round.

Contributors: Emma Watson from UnisanUK 

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