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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


76. Reuse zip-top bags. 0.1, $$$$

77. Buy bulk food and package it yourself in reusable containers. 0.2, $$$$

78. Maintain and repair gear so you replace it less frequently. 18, $$$$

79. Donate $200 in used gear to a charity or consignment shop. 220, $

80. When nature calls, wipe with natural materials such as snow, leaves, sticks, and moss. 0.4 per roll not used, $$$$

81. For camp cleanups, use a cotton bandana that can be rinsed and reused, not baby wipes. 0.8, $$$$

82. Replace old gear with green gear as it wears out—an old polyester fleece with a recycled poly fleece, for example. 6.5. $$

83. Use rechargeables (lithium-ion batteries) instead of standard AA or AAAs. 450, $$$

84. Give up the gas-powered lantern in favor of a candle lantern or an LED rechargeable lantern. 0.3 per hour, $$

85. Plan loop hikes to minimize car shuttles. 1 per mile not driven, $$$$

86. Use mapping software to print your maps at home. You'll save your transportation to the store—and the map's, too. 5 per trip, $$$

87. Wear leather hiking boots instead of synthetics. 23 per pair, $$

88. Sleep in a down bag, not a synthetic one. 6.8 per bag, $$

89. Shut down your house when you leave on a weeklong hiking vacation. Turn off all appliances except your refrigerator. 500, $$$$

90. Take low-carbon vacations. A typical 4-day backpacking trip saves big over a golf vacation of the same duration. 1,360, $$$$

Top Resources
• Patagonia and Mountain Equipment Co-op are both leaders in this field. patagonia.com; mec.ca

 Community

91. Plant trees, starting with the 10 you'll get free when you join the National Arbor Day Foundation. 3.3 per tree

92. Convince one friend or neighborhood family to reduce their water usage. 150, $$$

93. Ask your church or synagogue to convert to green power. California-based Interfaith Power and Light's 460 congregations saved 5,586,000 lbs. of carbon in 2006 by switching to renewable energy and improving their energy efficiency. 12,000 per church, $$$

94. Support bike lanes, carpooling, mass transit, and greenspace, then get 50 people to commute by bike or bus. 30,000, $$$

95. Pick an initiative and lobby in your community. Recruiting just 500 people to recycle their newspapers every day would have a significant impact. 92,000, $$$

96. Volunteer on a community council or for an advocacy group fighting global warming. Conduct a campaign to convert 3,000 homes in your town to CFL light bulbs. 360,000, $$

97. Write letters to the editor and express your opinion in community meetings in support of action on climate change. If a city of 25,000 households switched to 10% renewable energy, the savings would be huge. 68 million, $$$

98. Give away clothes, household goods, and other items you don't need to friends, neighbors, or charities—or worthy strangers on Craigslist. 81, $$$

99. Organize a clothing swap with your 10 friends, and save everyone money. 1,000, $$$$

100. Ask your dump to open a reuse center where you can bring items that another family might use. 120 for a used bike, $$$


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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