Consumer Reports Launches Global Warming Solutions Website
The Center, which launches on April 22, 2007, in celebration of Earth Day, will feature a Carbon Countdown checklist that will help people significantly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions both at home and on the road. It will also give them a way to keep track of how much their efforts are helping to reduce global warming.
The Carbon Countdown Checklist indicates the pounds of CO2 emissions – the main heat-trapping greenhouse gas linked to global warming – that everyday actions can save over the course of a year. Below is advice from the site on what people can do to start saving carbon now:
Drive a fuel-efficient car: 8,000 pounds. A car that gets 30 mpg will emit about half the CO2 of a 15 mpg vehicle. That’s a savings of 8,000 pounds if you drive 12,000 miles a year. To find the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs, check our Green Ratings.
Control your hot water heater temperature: 733 pounds. For every 10 degrees you reduce your hot water heater’s temperature, CO2 emissions are reduced by about 3-5 percent, or 733 pounds annually. Setting the thermostat at about 120 degrees, or between low and medium, is a reasonable temperature. And if your hot-water heater is less than 10 years old, you don’t need to buy an insulated blanket for it-the newer units have enough insulation to make the extra layer unnecessary.
Tune up and maintain your car: 580 pounds. If you get your engine properly tuned and use the recommended grade of motor oil, you can cut CO2 emissions and improve mileage by up to 6 percent, particularly if your car is noticeably in need of a tune-up. Savings are based on driving 12,000 miles per year.
Put your computer to sleep: 576 pounds. In the computer and monitor models recently tested by Consumer Reports, letting the system sleep for 12 hours out of every 24 would save about 576 pounds of CO2 annually. Obviously turning off the computer will save the most energy, but newer computers – those made within the last three years – use so little energy in sleep/standby mode that you don’t need to actually shut it down during daily use. And note that screen savers do not actually save energy.
“The Carbon Countdown Checklist gives people a way to count their savings in carbon dioxide emissions right away. The list is prioritized by activities with the largest to smallest carbon savings so they can see how significant their choices really are,” said Urvashi Rangan, the director of GreenerChoices.org. “People will be really surprised at the level of positive impact they can have or creating a healthier Earth by making small changes in their lifestyles.”
In addition to the Global Warming Solutions Center, GreenerChoices.org features great information on a variety of ways to make readers’ lifestyles more eco-friendly. The site covers topics like the best way to recycle old electronics, greener gardening tips and supplies, helpful labels for organic foods, and car care with an eye toward fuel efficiency.