“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Dottie Do-Right agreed. “But catch this; my cousin Dudley’s family replaced a couple dozen incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. That reduced their CO2 use by almost a ton. Their new Energy Star frig saves another 500 lbs.”
Dottie asked Nell to help her carry out the recyclables. “You know by taking the time to recycle plastic, glass, magazines, newspapers, and aluminum and steel cans a household can save another ton every year.”
Walking back from the curb they saw Mr. Peabody carrying in his groceries and offered to help. They pulled him into their “carbon footprint” conversation. “Food choices have a big impact too,” Peabody said. “In our house we plan a couple meatless meals each week reducing our CO2 impact by about a ton. The kind of meat you eat matters too. Unless you’re eating local grass-fed cattle, beef’s impact is almost 4 times that of pork and 5 times that of poultry,” Mr. Peabody added.
Sherman came in from the back yard. “Did you show them our smart thermostat?” he chimed in. “We program it to reduce either our heating or cooling when we’re not at home and in the evenings saving us money and about 1,500 lbs. of emissions a year. And from our utility provider we chose 10% green power, saving an additional ton each year,” Sherman beamed.
As they stepped off the porch their buddy Boris peddled up. Chatting with him, they learned that Americans typically drive about 250 mi. a week. With a little planning to reduce that distance by 40 miles a week, families would save another ton of emissions annually. Just driving the speed limit and reducing idling can save up to 15% more.
“Golly!” Nell practically cheered, “without much effort each family really can lower its carbon emissions and help protect our only home where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”
*With acknowledgements to Rocky, Bullwinkle and their Friends!