RVC SIFE environmental leadership

The Rock Valley College Students In Free Enterprise (RVC SIFE) has taken the lead on the environmental challenges facing our world. RVC SIFE has developed an ethics program for businesses and individuals to focus on environmental leadership and responsible behavior. The “5 Ton Carbo-Diox Diet” is a one-week diet plan to outline how you can easily reduce your carbon dioxide output in both your home and business. The 5 Ton Carbo-Diox Diet is designed to bring more awareness and action to address the growing issues with the drastic climate changes that Earth is experiencing.

The 5 Ton Carbo-Diox Diet calls for the following:

Monday: Replace high-use regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (cfl).. CFLs use 60 percent less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, we’d reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds!

Tuesday: Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer.. Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner. .Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket.. You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 120° Fahrenheit.

Wednesday: Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them.. Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year!

Turn off electronic devices you’re not using.. Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Thursday: Get your car tuned up.. Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1 percent of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated.. Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

Friday: Carpool with your co-workers or classmates.. Sharing a ride with someone just two days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year.

Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible.. Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year!

Saturday: Start your family recycling at home.. You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.

Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15 percent.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and local Wal-Mart stores have joined RVC SIFE in the effort to turn Rockford into an environmental leader in the U.S. You can obtain a 5 Ton Carbo-Diox Diet pamphlet at any local Wal-Mart.

Once your diet is complete, report your diet results online at www.rvcsife.org. It is important to report your diet results in order to measure the overall impact that the State of Illinois is having on the environment. Illinois’ goal is to reduce 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide in the air in 2007.

For more information about RVC SIFE, visit www.rvcsife.org.

from the issue March 14-20, 2007, issue

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