What are some simple steps or creative ideas that people can take at home and work to combat global warming?

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Global warming is not only one of the most threatening environmental problems, but one of the greatest challenges facing all of humanity. Danger signs are surfacing worldwide as ...show more
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There are many little things we can do that will collectively make a substantial impact to combating global warming. At the home, if we keep appliances or electronics that is not used unplugged, we will be saving electricity. Switching out lightbulbs for the energy efficient ones definitely help. Replacing old appliances for energystar ones will make a great impact. More drastic changes like switching from electric to propane wherever possible, or installing solar panels on the roof, would help even more. At work, we have motion detection lights after hours so that we don't waste energy. As well, the HVAC system is powered down in non-critical areas during the weekends and holidays to conserve.

On the macro-scale as a society, we need to invest more in alternative energy sources such as:
- wind and solar energy generation
- improved battery technologies, which will lead to new applications for batteries
(Case in point: The Saturn EV-1 was originally supposed to use new battery technology that would have given it a range of 300-400 mi/charge, but GM did not invest in battery technology between the concept car (Impact) and the production of EV-1. Can you imagine how many of us would be driving EV-1 or other electric vehicles now had they made the early investment?)
- alternative fuel for aircrafts, which is a great source of greenhouse gas emissions as well


I studied aerospace engineering because I wanted to develop vehicles that would be more efficient and more eco-friendly.

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  • stepup1895 answered 7 years ago
    The best thing is to plant a TREE. Everyone should plant trees everyday! This will help balance the excessive Carbon emissions which are one of the causes of global warming and planting trees is a great start to correcting the problem.
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  • sc77 answered 7 years ago
    I switched out my light bulbs...the environmentally-friendly ones cost more upfront, but they last for so much longer that it balances out. And its easier since I hardly ever have to change them.

    Its something small, but every little bit helps.
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  • Denny M answered 7 years ago
    How does this sound, we massively surcharge any person that has to unnecessarily live in a home larger than a city block and drives a vehicle in excess of 250 HP (like a Hummer or an Escalade). We take that money and put it into environmental programs. This may seem unfair to famous movie stars, but I'm sure it makes sense to the rest of us.

    To Tamara B,

    Normally I don't respond to these, but in your case I
    can't resist. Let's break down your response.

    "I am no star so I don't have a huge house but I do
    drive a paid for SUV"

    Well first off I don't understand why telling me you
    car is "FULLY PAID FOR" has anything to do with this
    question, unless it is because you like to hear
    yourself gloat. Furthermore, if you feel that my
    response does NOT categorize you, why respond to it at
    all? Also you do not explain what kind of SUV you
    drive, is it a modest and efficient vehicle that is
    practical for your kind of lifestyle, or is it a
    gas-guzzling monster with no other purpose than to
    impress? I to drive an SUV, it's a little guy but it
    does the job just fine and gets me where I need to go,
    it serves it purpose with efficiency as all vehicle

    "taking away our rights and freedoms to live where we
    want and drive what we want."

    At what point in my response did I say that people
    should be prohibited from living their own lifestyle?
    I merely pointed out that people should take
    responsibilty for their chosen lifestyle(and
    consequences thereof).

    "Sorry but I don't understand this kind of thinking."

    It appears to me that the reason you don't understand
    "my way of thinking" is because you don't understand
    the initial question, or my response to it. The
    question was asking what ideas could be used to curb
    global warming. I responded with the notion that
    certain socialites who obviously have more disposable
    income to WASTE on extremely large homes and very
    large vehicles (like HUMMERS and ESCALADES)should be
    more socially conscious of the environmental
    implications. If they do insist on living this
    extravagantly without regards to the environment, then
    they should also give provide additional resources to
    combat the environmental effects their lifestyle has
    on the REST OF US. (US being defined as those who
    choose to live more evironmentally responsible)

    Your quote about violation of civil "freedoms". With
    freedom comes fairness. Is it fair that I, a person
    who lives modestly in a reasonable sized home and
    drives a modest vehicle, have to pay the SAME in taxes
    and govnerment initiatives to combat global warming?
    Is this YOUR idea of freedom and civil liberty?

    "If you and others like you can have it your way why
    can't I and the others like me have it our way."

    Who, or what had given any person the RIGHT or FREEDOM
    to abuse dwindling natural resources and our
    environment? Is it you and "people like you"?

    Now I am confused, you initally started out distancing
    yourself from said abusers and now your back on the
    civil liberty bandwagon. Again, what "WAY" are we
    referring to? Why are you assuming that "people like
    me" are having it "our way", did the environmental
    issues suddenly get solved last night as I slept? In
    your statement I am in the understanding that you wish
    for EVERYONE to have it their way, now how the hell is
    that possible? You either are socially responsible,
    or you are not. It's that simple. I believe that
    issues like this very one can be reflected from your
    response and others similar to it, not the exact
    context in it, but just in the fact that it you have
    to respond to these issues in such a manner you are
    obviously oblivious to the nature of the enviromental
    problems we are having.


    Commom sense
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  • bernardwnfitzpatrick answered 7 years ago
    Hi Leo, my suggestion for reducing your production of CO2 is to stop taking private jets, which produce copious amounts of greenhouse gases per the passenger-mile travelled.

    For everyone else, the answer will be:
    1) Take public transit
    2) More nuclear power.

    Nuclear (after hydroelectric) is really the only hope to satisfy energy needs, as it is both economical and environmentally benign.
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  • John Kerry answered 7 years ago
    In the last year Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" has brought the science of climate change to millions of Americans in a dramatic and persuasive way. It's terrific what he's done. Here's the bottom line: within the next decade, if we don't deal with global warming, our children and grandchildren will have to deal with global catastrophe. We need big changes to fix a big problem. We can't "middle" our way there.

    As individuals, the change can be as simple as replacing traditional light bulbs with efficient fluorescents. In our communities we should require that new buildings include lights that turn off when people leave the room. We should follow the lead of Tokyo and their energy efficient escalators that shut off when they aren't being used. There are literally thousands of things to be done, too few of which we are being asked to do. Each of us can do something.

    We must insist on leaders who secure our energy independence, not ones who barter it away. We wouldn't elect a candidate who said terrorism wasn't a threat. We wouldn't tolerate a candidate for national office who didn't say he was committed to capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden. But for too long we've tolerated those who treat the threat of energy insecurity and the truth of global climate change as an inconvenient myth. We had a whole host of people in Washington who don't know how to tackle climate change, and a whole cast of political consultants who will counsel their candidates not even to try.

    Just think what we could do with decent leadership. Other countries already know something we don't. Actually they've been doing something we won't -- something influential interests don't want us to do. Thirty years ago when Brazil faced an energy crisis they got serious about alternative fuels. Relying on new stocks of homegrown fuels in addition to its own oil production, this year Brazil will achieve energy independence. If Brazil can do it, why can't we? If a developing country can go from 90 percent dependence on foreign oil to zero percent dependence in three decades, then we -- the most powerful, creative, industrial country on Earth -- we can change the destructive course we're on. Put Washington to the test. Tell powerful interests that the old era has ended and so have their easy arrangements. Then instead of empty slogans and long laundry lists of bite-sized ideas that tinker at the edges of outdated policy, we can embark on revolutions that will put our energy future in our own hands and put global climate change at the top of the national agenda where it belongs. We need a plan that actually does what the science tells us we have to do to.
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  • answers_anyone answered 7 years ago
    Here are a few:
    4x4s/SUVs and even mini-vans - who really needs them? If you insist on buying one then, NEVER drive it to the corner store.Get out and walk. It is amazing what a little walking can do.

    There is a site called freecycle that allows people to exchange stuff for free. I think that helps - less production energy involved in producing something new. Try to pass it on - not everything needs to be new.

    However, I think our consumption of goods from developing coutnries probably doesn't help either. As I think that the environmental laws there are less strict. This means we get stuff cheap but at a longer term cost. It pays to research what you are buying and the manufacturing involved.
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  • Jeffrey P answered 7 years ago
    I think one of the most effective methods would be for news programs to quit asking entertainers for their political opinions. Entertainers give off a lot of hot air, even more so when they engage in political discussion. As they are generally clueless, it would be best if they just stuck to entertaining.
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  • nuttin'fancy answered 7 years ago
    Hi Leo:
    I've changed my lightbulbs to those energy-efficient type. I recycle all my plastic, juice and lass containers, and have a compost. I drive a small 4 cyclinder car, and we car pool whenever possible for work. However, I feel that it is just a very minute contribution to combating GW. It's the major corporations, factories and the highways that really need a kick in the pants to wake up! It doesn't take a genious to figure out that our earth in is danger, I applaud the work you are putting into this cause. There are way too many airplanes/jets polluting up our skies.
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  • zombiefighter1988 answered 7 years ago
    Nothing can be done, global warming is the result of

    1. Increasing solar activity, thus even Mars and Venus show signs of global warming.

    2. The earth has always gone thru hot and cold spells IE: the little ice age.
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  • Kacky answered 7 years ago
    We can quit being professional consumers! A lot of what we own is junk, made in factories that pollute. Let's shop green - buy things with less packaging, and made from biodegradeable materials. And we need to end our love affair with SUV's.
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  • 死神 (FAC) Shinigami answered 7 years ago
    I work for a heating company, there are a lot of people where I live who still use wood heat in the winter. We've been putting in high-efficiency wood furnaces at a rate that's doubled every year. For the most part it works so that there is re-burn and what comes out of the chimney is pretty much water vapour. Burn times are longer so the wood box doesn't have to be filled as often and when you use dry wood, there is less creosote build up. I'm amazed at the ways heating can be made so efficient, even with this age old method of heating. So that gives us hope. Also there are many projects we've done this year that use geothermal heating, and even though this is a highly efficient use of resources, it is initially very pricey. It would be nice if this was made more affordable to people. Also I think that the invention of non-fossil-fuel-driven vehicles is a real boon to mankind. I hope Americans do their part, since it looks as if they are slow to respond to the Kyoto accord. I am Canadian
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  • fl_lopez answered 7 years ago
    This summer we are installing solar panels, we won't go off grid completely but our hope is to be for the most part not reliant on our utility company. Because we live in a rural area on dirt roads, we need a four-wheel drive, but we travel into Albuquerque, where both work, together. Sometimes this means one of having to wait an hour or two while the other gets off, but with gas prices we have to.
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  • dork answered 7 years ago
    A good start would be for rich celebrities such as yourself and George Clooney to stop taking private jets all over the planet.
    Also, figure the extra resources and power consumed, & pollution created that it takes to build several large mansions and vacation houses that you guys own, but clearly don't need, not to mention owning dozens of automobiles.

    Buying a Hybrid car and getting it out for a photo-op may be a great way to "symbolically" do something about the problem (i.e; great PR hype), but it doesn't even come close to negating the fact that the resources someone like yourself uses up equals a couple small towns worth of "regular folk" such as myself.

    So stop with the "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO" crap, OK?
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  • slaphappypimp answered 7 years ago
    Car pool
    shut off or lower ac/heater when not at home
    efficient light bulbs
    if you work at a smaller co. maybe you could share some of these tips with the owner so he/she could practice this in the work place.
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  • The Naughty Scotsman answered 7 years ago
    Avoiding the argument of whether global warming is due to human intervention or natural events, there are things that we can do to limit our carbon output. The list is quite extensive, so rather than blathering on about it, I'd rather refer you to a link. Enjoy.


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  • doggafacia answered 7 years ago
    The major factor in emissions are the 1.5 billion cattle in the world. Raising these produces more than 700 times more the amount of greenhouse pollutants than humans produce.

    Have you had beef lately, Leo?
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  • godoompah answered 7 years ago
    there is enough glass already made that if everyone actually recycled all their jars and bottles instead of throwing them out, there would be no need to make anymore glass.
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  • Gabriele answered 7 years ago
    We all need to start at home, which I believe we have, I recycle and reuse anything I can. I have changed light bulbs and use energy efficient appliances. Now it is time for the big guys to turn off the lights and dispose their toxic waste properly. If you think 2006 was a horrible year for natural disasters wait and see what 2007 will bring.
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  • bulmer13 answered 7 years ago
    you'd be wise to use your power as a famous actor to start a campaign to get the US off of oil from the Middle East. I'm a Republican but I'd be down to back you up on that one.
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  • vab answered 7 years ago
    One way to do it is to use as much of the resources as is needed. if we simply cut down the wastage of energy and other resources such as electricity, water etc. we can solve most of the problems. This we can begin from our home itself by making sure there is no wastage of electricity, water etc. We can turn the electric appliances fans, lights off when there is no one in room, most of the people do turn ON the lights when they get inside the room, but they DO NOT turn them off while leaving ( i can bet most of the people reading this have this habbit), we can close the running tap water in our home as well as public places. People generally feel offended or feel shy to do such stuff in public places, but there is need to get change of mind set. We need to save and efficiently use resources. Why do people apply all these theories incase of money only, they will save money, use it appropriately but when it comes to using energy they hardly cares!
    I liked the idea of srinivas(one of the answerer) to share stuff among our social network so that many people can do away with there needs with same set of articles. Visited www.socialway.com too, its nice site with a beautiful concept. Guys, i think , we should use more of this kinda stuff.
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  • Srinivas answered 7 years ago
    If we can utilize the resources we have in a better way, we can reduce co2 emissions and thereby reduce the global warming. Examples are sharing things like books, videos, tools, equipment etc. which are currently highly under utilized. The savings in co2 emissions by just reusing what we have is lot more than we might first think.

    A group of us have just started a site (launched just weeks ago) called SocialWay - http://www.socialway.com that helps people list things we have and allow it to share with other people. We would be happy if people in this community try it out.

    Its a small step towards protecting the environment, but we need several such efforts to combat the large problem at hand.


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  • Sheila answered 7 years ago
    I live in the rural mid west and hang out my laundry to dry whenever possible.
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  • mzJakes answered 7 years ago
    There is no proof that anything man does makes any substantial impact of global warming, either way. One volcanic eruption can deposit more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere in a few minutes or days than mankind can do in a millenia.

    The planet seems to be going thru a warming trend. This has happened many times before. Nothing we can do to change it so why worry about it.
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  • El Pistolero Negra answered 7 years ago
    In 1918 there was a volcanic explosion on the other side of the Earth. It caused the Earth to cool for a period of 3+ years. Since this global warming thing is such a huge concern to so many Hollywood types these days, which obviously means it is important, I suggest we bomb some volcanoes every 3 or 4 years and cool the Earth down a bit. And a bit of advice Leo, stick with acting. Us regular folks quickly tire of hearing political activism spew from the mouths of Thespians.
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  • OrianasMom answered 7 years ago
    I am currently in the process of getting Low E Argon filled windows installed in my home. This will increase the energy efficiency of my house and lower my monthly utilities bills, but I would be lying if I said I did it because I was concerned about global warming. I personally believe that cow flatulence contributes more to global warming and the buildup of green house gases than any other single source. On that front I can and will do my part to stop that particular green house gas source by eating beef as often as possible.
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  • Wendy 1 answered 7 years ago
    This may sound silly, but think about all of us who leave our cell phone chargers plugged in for convenience of use. When the cell phone is not being charged it DOES still emit energy. If everyone made even THAT little effort it would save a bundle of energy. A journey of 1000 miles..........
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  • Gracefully Chaotic answered 7 years ago
    OK I really hate to point out the painfully obvious buuut.. Here are a few simple ideas... Stop using the useless gadgets do you really need the electric can opener? Simplify your life, stream line your use of electric things to what you really need and don't look at them as necessary because they are not, they are lazy luxury. Which is fine too sometimes but not all the time.. The other thing I highly suggest is to look into solar power yes even in the city solar power can produce enough energy to live totally comfortably while only being supplemented by other power as a backup.. Roughly $10,000 can get you a basic set up and if that number scares you then add up all your power bills and think about it then. The other option is to arrange a bulk buy of solar gear because then you will get discounts as with anything quantity has an impact upon the costs favourably. Everyone really needs to look at this issue seriously because the alternatives are truly mortifying. So called "clean" nuclear power does not produce greenhouse gases directly but it does however produce as a byproduct some of the most deadly and as far as my little human life span goes forever repercussions.. I know this because the area I recently moved to is now a hot bed for uranium mining and no matter which way you look at it it's just not safe. Perhaps a better word is sustainable and that is what we all want right.. Sustainable good living..
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  • Beach bum answered 7 years ago
    Thanks for posting this question. It has given me a lot of ideas to help our environment. Consider me one more person you have reached.

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  • johnny j answered 7 years ago
    Use timers in less frequented rooms, and motion detectors on outside lights. Add more insullation, even if you think you have enough. Look into using your house's passive heating and cooling abilities in winter and summer. The ground is a comfortable 65 degrees year round. Bury some pipes and add a small fan to get some free cool air or warm air, depending on the season.
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