“While there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution to reducing carbon emissions, the first step is to look closely at your emissions and set a goal to reduce them.”

When John Rogers, Union of Concerned Scientist and co-author of Cooler, Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, addressed Elmhurst Cool Cities CoaDSC01181lition back in 2014, he shed some light on the breakdown in sources of carbon emissions for the average American, and offered the Top 10 ways to reduce your impact:

Transportation: 28%

Stuff You Buy: 26%

Home Heating and Cooling: 17%

Other Home Energy Use: 15%

Food: 14%

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) modeling

Top 10 ways we can readily cut our carbon footprint emissions by 20 percent:

  1. Switch to a car with better fuel economy.
  2. Make your house more air tight.
  3. Buy and use a programmable thermostat.
  4. Eat less meat, especially beef.
  5. Use power strips in your home office and home entertainment center.
  6. Upgrade your refrigerator and air conditioner.
  7. Get an electricity monitor.
  8. Change those light bulbs.
  9. Wash clothes in cold water.
  10. Buy less stuff.

Not only do these changes reduce your carbon emissions, they help you save money at the same time.

“If all Americans reduced their emissions by 20 percent, we could shutter 200 of the nation’s 600 coal plants – a great step in fighting the worst consequences of climate change,” said Rogers.

To learn more about making an impact within the Elmhurst community, join us for our monthly meetings, the first Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Elmhurst Public Library.

To read more about the Top 10 list, visit:                       http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/global_warming/Cooler-Smarter-Top-Ten-List.pdf