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Rediff News  All News  » Business » How YOU can save the planet

How YOU can save the planet

Last updated on: December 10, 2009 09:58 IST

Image: Future generations will suffer the most due to famines.
Rediff Business Desk

Global warming is one of the biggest threats to humanity. And if we do not reduce the rate of global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions now, future generations will suffer the most due to famines, water shortages, extreme weather conditions, and similar dangers.

While we may not be able to stop it completely, every individual can make a difference by adopting simple measures at home or office.

The burning of fossil fuels and excessive use -- and wastage -- of energy causes global warming. By consuming less energy, we can save the planet and make it a better place for future generations. You can start with the 3 Rs: Re-use, Reduce and Recycle.

Here's how you can make a difference everyday:


How YOU can save the planet

Image: Use energy-efficient appliances.

Electricity use: Besides, reducing your power bill, your usage will go a long way in cutting down the emissions that cause climate change.

Unplug electronic appliances: Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. So remember to unplug these after use.

Energy-efficient appliances: Go for energy-efficient electrical appliances. New refrigerators use 40 per cent less energy than models made just 10 years ago. Inefficient appliances waste energy, so buy new ones.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: Use low energy consuming compact fluorescent lamps.

Shut your air-conditioner: When you go out of the house and turn it off. A tree or any plant that gives a shade to your air conditioner can improve its efficiency by up to 10 per cent. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended.

Computer: When you are not using it, you can shut off the screen. About 60 per cent of the power used from a computer is used by the display screen. Avoid printing whenever possible, read from your screen.

Lights: Use low energy consuming compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). A 15-watt CFL can supply as much light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: Go for organic composting.

Disposing trash: Go for organic composting and recycling paper, bottles etc to cut down on gas emissions. When you recycle, less trash gets burned.  So there will be a drop in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Organic food: It is healthy and requires less energy to produce. Buy fresh food, frozen food uses 10 times more energy.

Cover vessels while cooking: this can help save energy. Use pressure cookers more frequently to save energy.

Go vegetarian: Being vegetarian can help save energy.

Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when full: If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load setting.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: A charger from IdeaForge which can be used in the bike.
Switch to green power

Choose clean energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar wherever possible. Use human powered hcraging devices which save fuel.

Grow plants: Grow as many plants as possible. Make your environment green. Join groups that help in protecting forests and create awareness among people.

Use own reusable bags: Using your cloth bag instead of plastic bags for shopping. Cut down plastic bags. Despite a ban on plastic bags, shopkeepers continue to give these bags.

Packing: Buy stuff which do not take much packaging as it can cut garbage by about 10 per cent.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: Buy a fuel efficient car.

Using cars

Buy a fuel efficient car. Take a carpool when ever you can.

Tyres: Keep the car tyres adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Check your car's air filter monthly. Under-inflated tyres hike fuel consumption by 5 per cent.

Switch off engine: Idling wastes money and fuel. Turn your engine off if you have wait for more than 30 seconds.

Driving speed: One of the best ways to save gas is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases. Fast driving in low gears can use up to 45 per cent more fuel. When traveling at highway speeds keep windows closed. Open windows reduce your mileage by 10 per cent. Sudden changes in speed wastes fuel.

Maintenance: Replace spark plugs regularly to avoid fuel wastage. Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10 per cent. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into the engine, which harms performance and economy.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: You must get the engine checked at regular intervals.

Servicing: You must get the engine checked at regular intervals. A badly maintained engine can consume up to 50 per cent more fuel than a good engine.

Air Conditioner: Switch off the AC especially when the weather is good. Turn off the AC five minutes before you reach your destination and don't keep it working until the last second.

Use public transport: Taking the bus, or the train, cut down on car travel.

Travel light: Don't overload the car or keep unwanted things inside, the more heavy the car is, the more fuel it will consume.

How YOU can save the planet

Image: Buy energy-saving office appliances and equipment.
How you can save energy at work:

Many offices leave air conditioners, computers and lights on all night. Wherever possible it should be kept off.

Buy energy-saving office appliances and equipment, like LCD monitors, printers and photocopiers. This will help save energy and money.

While commuting in the trains, switch off the lights and fans when not required.

For office meetings, try to avoid travel if you can talk on the phone or use videoconference. Air travel produces large amounts of emissions.