The air is crisp and you've probably turned on your heater or furnace
by now. So here's the first Action of the month: Turn down your
thermostat by two degrees in winter. For each degree, you can cut your
energy bills up to 5 percent and keep 315 pounds of planet-heating
carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in a year. Flex Your Power
recommends 68 degrees in winter, and 55 degrees at night and when
you're not home. Consider installing an inexpensive Energy Star
thermostat that you can program (set it to warm the house just before
you get out of bed!).
Second action of the month: Use less gasoline! This is probably one of
the biggest things we can all do to stop global warming. Here are a
few suggestions to get you started:
* Don't idle. Whether you're in the school's drop-off zone or on the
wrong side of road construction, turn off your engine and save gas and
*Spend a few minutes talking with your family about how you can drive
less. Maybe you could set up a carpool for after-school activities.
Maybe you could walk to a nearby shopping center to run a few,
lightweight errands, or if you do drive, park in a central location
and walk to the shops within a quarter of a mile. Ride your bike with
your kids to do your errands or go to school.
*Consider if there's one day in your week or month when you can leave
the car in the driveway, choosing instead to bike to work, take the
bus to the movies, or stay at home relaxing. One less pound of carbon
dioxide is emitted for every mile you bike, walk or take public
transit instead of driving.
To learn more: Last month we talked about how much money and
electricity you can save by installing compact fluorescent bulbs. Old
thermostats and compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury.
Please dispose of them at free household hazardous waste days or the
San Carlos Recycling Center, 650-592-2411.
To do more: Consider supporting International Buy Nothing Day, held
the day after Thanksgiving. By staying home from crowded shopping
centers, you'll save gas, save money, and save on the gasoline used to
make products, package them and ship them. We'll give you some great
alternatives to shopping next month in the December issue of Cool the
Planet. In the meantime, check out these great resources on
simplifying the holidays http://www.newdream.org
and buying responsibly http://www.newdream.org
Subscribe to the Cool Families bulletin for future tips and links at
this site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group
you'd like to work with us to inspire positive action, join the group