As you know global warming is endangering the future of life on the
planet. It will also affect us;
rising sea levels, dwindling water supplies, mass deaths due to heat
waves, stoppage of the gulfstream, which
brings milder climate to north of Europe, super hurricanes, less food
due to droughts are some of the effects.
As you also know global warming is produced due to CO2 emissions
coming from burning of fossil fuels. So what
can every single person do to reduce global warming ?
1) Insulation: Do you know that you can save 50% of heating energy
(and money) by insulation ? Especially in
the times the financial crisis, you can make the insulation cheaper
and save the money when oil, natural gas and
coal prices are higher due to higher demand. What needs to be
insulated ? Firstly the Roof, since warmer air
goes up, then the windows (tripple glass or at least dual glass and
shutters for additional insulation at night,
and in summer time), then the outer walls. Also small cracks, leaks in
weatherstrips etc should be eliminated.
An infrared inspection of your house for heat losses would be the best
way to find out what else can be done.
A wintergarden will help heating your house additionally in winter
2) Using rechargable batteries instead of alkaline batteries, and
charge them during less demand ours like at night
will also save a lot of energy and money.
3) Lightning; the use of Compact fluorescent lamps instead of
traditioanl light bulbs will save 80% of energy, the
use of very new LED lamps will save even more.
4) Buying local. Most of the energy is spent for transportation of
imported goods, especially food. By buying local
made food you not only save a lot of energy, but also create more jobs
5) Heating; there are several way to save energy and money by changing
the heating method; you can use the free heat
of the nature by adding a solar thermal equipment to heat the water
for taking showers and also to heat your home.
Additionally you can use a heating pump, which funtions like a reverse
fridge; it takes the heat of the outside and
transfers it to your home. You use much much less energy to do this
(electricity to pump a liquid).
6) Your car; by buying a hybrid car you save 30% of fuel, by
converting your car to CNG (compressed natural gas) you
can save a lot of CO2, since CNG has much less carbon but more
hydrogen, which will result in water (CH4 instead of
C8H18). CNG will also result in much more energy output per mass. The
conversion is not very expensive. It is totally
save, since the storage has to resist a certain pressure.
Of course there are also other smaller things you have to consider:
- Each 60 pounds increases fuel consumption by 10%.
- Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking)
wastes gas. It can lower your highway gas mileage
33% and city mileage 5%.
- Drive at lowest and constant rpms; 2000 rpm are enough; you can save
up to 30%. Even a Porsche can be driven at the
4th gear at 20 mph and at the 6th gear at 50 mph with 2.5 times less
- Avoid high speeds. Driving 75 mph, rather than 65 mph, could cut
your fuel economy by 15%.
- Use air conditioning only when necessary
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline
mileage by around 3.3%.
- Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10%
and protect your engine
- Combine errands into one trip. Several short trips, each one taken
from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as
one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Do not
forget that in the first mile your car uses 8
times more fuel, in the second mile 4 times and only after the
fourth mile it becomes normal
7) Buying A++ or A+++ equipments. The extra money you pay for this
will be back in 1-2 years. It will save a lot of CO2.
8) Try to save also energy at your job; you can do it by insulation,
more efficient processes, heat recovery, more
efficient pumps/engines, low temperature processses, material
saving, water savings, optimization, automatic turning
off of unnecessary energy using processes, control if some
processes are really necessary (the change of some
processes makes other processes sometimes unnecesarry on which
nobody has thought about).
9) Solar cells for your own home; at the moment solar cells are very
cheap since there is an overproduction. These cells
can operate a fridge for example.