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Backpacker Magazine – September 2007

Cut Your Carbon in Half

A hiker's guide to fighting climate change

by: Berne Broudy

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

26. Reduce your energy usage 20% by downsizing when choosing your next home. 5,400, $$$$

27. Use locally appropriate, locally fabricated materials when building or renovating to avoid the carbon cost of transporting heavy materials. 7 per hundred lbs. not transported from out of state, $$

28. Buy green power, or ask your utility to offer it. The typical United States home uses about 10,000 kilowatt hours a year. 22,000, $$

29. Use recycled-content toilet paper. If every U.S. household replaced one roll per year, 424,000 trees would be saved. 0.4 per roll, $$

30. Repair, don't toss appliances. Each fix means you won't buy a new one. blender: 13, refrigerator: 690, washing machine: 410, $$$

31. Buy energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star appliances use 10 to 50% less energy and water, and meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. The appliance's yellow EnergyGuide label cites its annual power consumption and operating cost, and compares it with similar models. 340 (dishwasher), 780 (refrigerator), 1200 (washing machine), $$$$

32. Dry your dishes on a rack, or use your dishwasher's air-dry cycle. 660, $$$$

33. Use a microwave, not a conventional oven, to heat small quantities of food. 1 per meal, $$$

34. Buy secondhand at tag sales for household items and save the carbon cost of new production. 55, $$$$

35. Recycle household paper, plastic, and metals. 1,300, $$$

36. Reuse jars, bags, and food containers. 4 , $$$$

37. Set your water heater at 120°F. 1,200 (electric water heater), 880 (natural gas), $$$$

38. Adjust your thermostat down 2°F in winter and up 2°F in summer. 420, $$$$

39. Upgrade your furnace to a more energy-efficient model. 2,400, $

40. Eliminate drafts by caulking and weatherstripping, installing storm windows, upgrading insulation, and removing window AC units in winter. 800, $$$$

41. Use passive solar to capture heat in your home and office: Open curtains during the day and close them at dusk, except in summer, when you should close curtains during the hottest hours of the day. Besides carbon, you'll save 25 to 75% on your heating and cooling bill. 2,700, $$$$

42. Clean AC filters or replace them. 350, $$$

43. Run ceiling fans instead of AC. In hot climates, this can easily save more than a ton of CO2. 2,700, $$$$

44. Use cold water to wash and rinse clothes, not hot or warm. 27, $$$$

45. Hang laundry to dry, eliminating one dryer cycle per week. 200, $$$$

46. Take a Navy shower: Turn off the water when you're soaping up. 35, $$$$

47. Go for a low-flow showerhead. 1,800 (electric), 430 (natural gas)

48. Shave in the sink, not the shower.

50, $$$$ 49. Don't overfill your kids' bathtub. 50, $$$$

50. Say no to carpeting. 4,000 per 800 sq. ft., $$


PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

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READERS COMMENTS

Cate
Aug 21, 2008

Products made in the USA are usually more expensive, due to higher minimum wages and operating costs. And while finding products made in the US is tough, it can be done. Check out the American Craft Movement for gifts and art, and think twice about how much you really need something if you can't find a low-impact alternative. Part of going green is becoming a little less materialistic, I think.

hippydog
Jun 30, 2008

is there any good info about what fuel or stoves are greener? If I need a new stove and want to be green whats the better option?

Orion
Jun 02, 2008

I agree it's something we should pay attention to, but honestly it would be better, since people are ignorant, if companys would just go green and continue to push the limits of ensuring they stay green without the peoples say or input it would be nice.

achmed mucmut the alllllll zhir
May 06, 2008

yes i also agree me brother this is very interesting and more people should pay attention to this

oij
May 06, 2008

khbluhknlyuhnk

achmed mucmut the alllllll zhir
May 06, 2008

yes i also agree me brother this is very interesting and more people should pay attention to this

achmed mucmut the alllllll zhir
May 06, 2008

yes i also agree me brother this is very interesting and more people should pay attention to this

achmed mucmut the alllllll zhir
May 06, 2008

yes i also agree me brother this is very interesting and more people should pay attention to this

achmed mucmut the alllllll zhir
May 06, 2008

yes i also agree me brother this is very interesting and more people should pay attention to this

al zahir Mahmood Al Shareef
May 06, 2008

I agree

al zahir Mahmood Al Shareef
May 06, 2008

I agree

al zahir Mahmood Al Shareef
May 06, 2008

I agree

al zahir Mahmood Al Shareef
May 06, 2008

I agree

muchmud da al sheereff mohammid
May 06, 2008

yes this is very true

Shelly
Apr 27, 2008

I agree with you Zachary. Lately I have been trying to avoid products made in China for several reasons...(safety, their emissions during production, etc.)...and I have found that it is very difficult to find products not made in China. Even harder to find stuff made in the USA. Some of my favorite companies (north face, merrell, etc.) make most of their products in China. Why can't we manufacture these things here?

Zachary
Apr 26, 2008

I have a hard time with companies that clam to be low impact. Most of today’s products are manufactured in China witch is the largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world. Then you take the shipping on boats that run off diesel gas to get the product over here to the US. Then it has to be shipped. So, if a company claims to be green, in most cases that company is harming the environment more by not manufacturing it products locally or with in the country in witch they are based. So please think about all the carbon emitted to get your "Green" product form China to you shopping store, and maybe it won’t be so "Green" Thank you

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