- The most basic thing you can do is reduce water usage. According to the EPA, we consume about 2 to 5 gallons per day when we brush with the water running continuously. Of course, it takes energy to pump and heat water, so conserving water makes a difference.
- For paper goods, minimize their use but also choose recycled paper. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if every household in the nation swapped just one roll of traditional toilet paper for one made with recycled paper, the effort could save about 424,000 trees.
- Opt for energy-efficient alternatives to the traditional lightbulb, e.g. LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.
- Install faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads. Aerators break up streams of water with air. You get the same water pressure but reduce the actual volume of water.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. "Vampire" energy loss accounts for approximately 5-10 percent of residential energy use in the U.S.
According to the World Meterological Organization (WMO), the earth is continuing to get warmer. 2009 is in line to be the fifth hottest year on record (the exact ranking may change depending on how these last weeks of the year play out), and the decade from 2000-2009 has been the warmest in recorded history.
The hottest decade on record before the 2000s was the 1990s, and before that the 1980s. Temperature records have been kept using precise instruments since 1850.
The recent WMO press release also states:
"This year above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record."Though the US and Canada experienced cooler temperatures this year, our weather is not indicative of global trends. This release coincides with the Copenhagen climate meetings, where global leaders are well positioned to work out the framework for a legally binding emissions reductions target.