CARING FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT : EARTH DAY (April 22 )
What is Global Warming?
|Global Warming is an increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. It is a term most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases. It is different from the term climate change in that climate change is more broad and refers in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate. Climate change and global warming have occurred on Earth as the result of natural influences and in cycles throughout the history of the Earth; however, the current warming we are experiencing and that is expected to continue is the result of human-caused increases in greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there has been in the past 650,000 years. The carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere and acts like a warm blanket that holds in the heat. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect.|
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
|One thing to keep in mind is that having some greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere is not bad. We do need some warmth on the Earth or we would not have the proper narrow range of temperature that allows us to have the right conditions for breathable air, clean water and mild weather. In fact, the Earth in general would be too cold to inhabit without some greenhouse gasses or the greenhouse effect. However, humans have begun to tip the balance and overload the atmosphere with too many greenhouse gases from our cars, factories and power plants – gasses that trap more heat and can lead to devastating changes in our environment. If we don’t start fixing the problem now, we are in for more extreme temperatures, rises in sea levels and more destructive storms.|
Ten Basic Tips To Help Stop Global Warming
Don’t have a lot of time, but want to take action? Here are ten, simple, everyday things each of us can do to help stop Global Warming. Pick one, some, or all. Every little effort helps and adds up to a whole lot of good.
Change a light. Replacing a regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent one saves 150 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Drive less. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transport and mass transit. All of these can help reduce gas consumption and one pound of carbon dioxide for each mile you do not drive.
Recycle more and buy recycled. Save up to 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide each year just by recycling half of your household waste. By recycling and buying products with recycled content, you also save energy, resources and landfill space!
Check your tires. Properly inflated tires mean good gas mileage. For each gallon of gas saved, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are also never produced.
Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Reducing the amount used means big savings in not only your energy bills, but also in carbon dioxide emissions. Using cold water for your wash saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and using a low flow showerhead reduces 350 pounds of carbon dioxide. Make the most of your hot water by insulating your tank and keeping the temperature at or below 120.
Avoid products with a lot of packaging. Preventing waste from being created in the first place means that there is less energy wasted and fewer resources consumed. When you purchase products with the least amount of packaging, not only do you save money, but you also help the environment! Reducing your garbage by 10% reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 pounds.
Plant a tree. A single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Turn off electronic devices when not in use. Simply turning off your TV, VCR, computer and other electronic devices can save each household thousand of pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Stay informed. Use the Earth 911 Web site to help stay informed about environmental issues, and share your knowledge with others.
Together, we can Make Every Day Earth Day
‘In nature, there are neither rewards nor punishments
– there are consequences.’ : Robert G .Ingersoll