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September 2007

Cut Your Carbon in Half

A hiker's guide to fighting climate change

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.;


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, $$$

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