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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

Top Resources
 • Home and office energy audits: homeenergy.org/perfbro.intro.html; epa.gov/climatechange; doe.gov
 • Recycling: earth911.org
• Energy-efficient products: eere.energy.gov/consumer; buyenergyefficient.org/buy.html; energystar.gov
• Make your home more efficient: toronto.ca/health/2020/athome.htm; aceee.org/consumerguide/chklst.htm; pepco.com
• Green your office: cleanair-coolplanet.org/solutions/greenoffice.php
• Green power: epa.gov/grnpower/locator/index.htm; climatebiz.com; eere.energy.gov/greenpower
• Get off mailing lists: 888-5-OPTOUT; newdream.org; dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing

Auto

51. Cut down on car washing. 3 per wash, $$$$

52. Accelerate gradually. 100, $$$$

53. Use cruise control on the highway. 100, $$$$

54. Drive the speed limit. 150, $$$$ 55. Combine errands into one trip and save 500 miles of driving a year. 510, $$$$

56. Lighten your load. 100 pounds of junk in the trunk can reduce gas mileage by 2%. 10, $$$$

57. Keep tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, noted on the sidewall. 100, $$$$

58. Check your air filter monthly and replace it when it looks dirty. 800, $$$

59. Don't top off at the pump. You'll eliminate accidental spillage and reduce toxic emissions. 9, $$$

60. Don't idle for more than 10 seconds in traffic or at a drive-thru; instead, turn off your engine. 500 (10 non-idling minutes), $$$$

61. Walk or ride a bike when running errands; cut your driving by 10%. 1,000, $$$$

62. Carpool or bus to work instead of driving. 500 (carpool), 690 (bus), $$$$

63. Use your AC sparingly, or not at all. 100 (sparingly), 600 (never), $$$$

64. Remove your roof rack when you're not using it; a rack can decrease fuel efficiency by 5%. 250, $$$$

65. Buy a hybrid when it's trade-in time. 5,300, $

Top Resources
• More efficient vehicle use: fueleconomy.gov
• Climate-friendly vehicles: eere.energy.gov/fleetguide/hevcalc.html; jdpower.com; fueleconomy.gov

Travel
66. Carry a fork and travel mug in your car and say no to plastic silverware, disposable cups, and paper napkins. 65, $$$

67. Reuse hotel towels. 0.1, $$$

68. Bring your own shampoo, conditioner, soap, and skin lotion and skip the single-serve ones in your hotle room. 2, $$

69. Offset your travel with carbon credits. U.S. to Europe: 5,500, $$

70. Choose close-to-home adventures. Cutting your travel distance can save big. 1 per mile, $$$$

71. Travel by bus or train whenever possible. Air travel and driving long distances solo have high carbon costs. Public transit is almost always the most efficient way to travel. 252 per 300 miles in a bus vs. car, $$$

72. Rent a hybrid or biodiesel car at your arrival city. 50 per 100 miles driven, $$

Top Resources
• Green travel and vacations: sustainabletravel.com; eco-indextourism.org
• Offset your travel: nativeenergy.com; carbonfund.org

Trail

73. Use the sun to recharge backcountry electronics. 28, $$

74. Borrow, rent, or share gear. 84 (tent), 60 (sleeping bag), $$$

75. Use an efficient stove. Recycling used canisters also keeps your carbon costs lower. 0.002 per day (canister stove), 0.004 per day (white gas stove), $$

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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