08 August 2012

How to Save the World

No, it's not impossible, and yes, there are actually things you can do.

David MacKay, author of Sustainable Energy -- Without the Hot Air identifies what he considers the eight most important things to do to save the world.

1. Put on a woolen sweater and turn down your heating’s thermostat (to 15 or 17 ◦C, say). Put individual thermostats on all radiators. Make sure the heating’s off when no-one’s at home. Do the same at work. (Could save: 20 kWh per day)
2. Read all your meters (gas, electricity, water) every week, and identify easy changes to reduce consumption (e.g., switching things off). Compare competitively with a friend. Read the meters at your place of work too, creating a perpetual live energy audit. (Could save: 4 kWh per day)
3. Stop flying. (Could save: 35 kWh per day)
4. Drive less, drive slower, drive more gently, use an electric car, join a car club, cycle, walk, use trains and buses. (Could save: 20 kWh per day)
5. Keep using old gadgets (e.g. computers); don’t replace them early. (Could save: 4 kWh per day)
6. Change lights to fluorescent or LED. (Could save: 4 kWh per day)
7. Don’t buy clutter. Avoid packaging. (Could save: 20 kWh per day)
8. Eat vegetarian, six days out of seven (Could save: 10 kWh per day)

There's a ripple effect.  Change your life, let your friends and family see you making changes (but don't start to hector them about following your lead), and at least some of them are likely to start making changes, too.