Wilderness Underfoot: It’s getting hot, Part 3: Solutions to warming

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11738992055469.jpg’, ”, ‘Use your car more efficiently – These days, you never know how much you’ll be paying for a tank of gas from one fill-up to the next. To cut back on fuel use, combine errands and avoid making unnecessary trips. Drive under 60 mph on the highway—cars waste fuel at higher speeds. Keep your engine properly tuned, change filters as needed, and use the proper grade of oil. Keep your tires properly inflated. Use a light foot when accelerating and braking, and maintain even speeds (that is, don’t drive aggressively). Don’t leave your car running while parked. And don’t carry around excess cargo. These guidelines will not only save fuel, but may also extend the life of your car and, in some cases, the lives of its occupants. If you’re buying a car, consider fuel economy. During its lifetime, a car that gets 35 miles per gallon (MPG) will save about $4,000 over one that gets 25 MPG, based on current fuel prices.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11738992435345.jpg’, ”, ‘Use energy more efficiently at home and at work – By now, most Illinois residents and businesses have been hit by a controversial electric rate increase (as much as 25 percent). Consider ways to offset your higher bills with a reduction in energy use. Don’t leave lights, televisions, computers, monitors and other electronics running when not in use. Wash and dry full loads of laundry rather than partial loads. If you use a dishwasher, scrape any baked-on residue from dishes before loading, and always wash a full (but not over-stuffed) load; allow dishes to air dry after washing. Consider using the rake instead of the electric blower to remove leaves from your yard. When buying large, energy-consuming appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, check their energy ratings. A better rating is likely to be worth more in long-term savings than a lower-priced model with a poor rating. When replacing incandescent bulbs, use energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. To prepare for cooling and heating seasons, make sure your fireplace dampers are closed (when not in use) and doors and windows are sealed. Caulk cracks and seal any gaps in your home that allow heated or cooled air to escape. Check to make sure your house, especially your attic, is well insulated.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117389934813279.jpg’, ”, ‘Plant trees and shrubs for summer shade – Trees can increase the canopy, helping to shade your house. During hot summer days, when leaves are full, deciduous trees and shrubs absorb excessive solar energy. During winter, evergreens can serve as breaks to divert cold winds. Trees also serve us by trapping the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. ‘);

Tips on how to stop wasting your hard-earned money (while saving the planet from global warming)…

Worldwide temperatures have risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last century, and there’s evidence this warming trend has resulted in changes in weather, overall climate, and in the natural balance of ecosystems across the planet.

A major cause of global warming is our burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum and natural gas, which create greenhouse gases. Although large government initiatives are slowly developing to fight global warming, individual efforts may be just as important. We tend to waste a lot of energy, most of which comes from fossil fuels. The win-win solution is to become an energy tightwad, saving money and reducing your own harmful impact on the environment. Some tips:

from the March 14-20, 2007, issue

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