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A recent study brought clarity to the issue of climate change, as reported by the Washington Post. Global warming does not necessarily cause any single weather event, such as Hurricane Katrina, heat waves or extreme winter weather as experienced in the eastern region of the country. What changes in climate does do is make the numbers of these events much more frequent. This Swiss study found data that showed that 18% of the earth’s extremes in rainfall, now, and 75% of extreme heat are made much more possible due to global climate change.
A single person can feel helpless and unable to effect a positive change. There are important actions you can take, and urge your family, friends and neighbors to make, that can make a difference. According to the EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency) some of the most important actions individual citizens can take include:
Use lightbulbs that draw less power
The best bulbs now available now are LED. Although more expensive, they last longer, emit less heat, and don’t have the dangers of mercury contamination as are found in compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs must be recycled, and are dangerous if broken as they will emit toxic mercury that could endanger you. Not only will your electricity bill be lower, you reduce your home’s power draw, and the emissions created in the electricity production.
Get your home insulated
The cost of heating a poorly insulated home are far higher than a well-insulated home. The EPA advises you get rid of air leaks by adding caulking or weather stripping. Your home will remain much warmer or cooler, and can reduce the costs of heating and cooling by up to 20%.
You may not like the inconvenience of carrying your own bags when shopping, but reducing paper and plastic in the environment can make a big difference. Landfills produce greenhouse gases, and you can make a difference by reducing your own consumption. Be part of the solution rather than collecting and throwing away huge piles of paper and plastic bags.
Restrict water usage
The highest water usage is actually a toilet, not the shower or dishwasher. Replace your home’s toilet with a water-efficient model and save significantly on your water bill and overconsumption. Get leaks repaired immediately. Only water your yard after sunset, rather than during the day.
Kick the bottled water habit
Rather than buying bottled water, get a water bottle that is BPA-free and refill it. Don’t like the taste of tap water? Get a filter system on your faucet, or get a delivery service for your water that provides bottles of water that are used again and again.
The future of the planet is uncertain, but current research clearly indicates that climate change is very real and more extreme weather is on the horizon. Your individual actions make a difference. Share your knowledge. Pass on the positive changes you have made to your friends, family and neighbors.