Tue09302014

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The 'low-carb' checklist for a greener you>

• Get out of the car. Once a week, walk, ride your bike, take public transit, telecommute or carpool. Savings: 1,000 pounds of CO2 per year. Students: Bike or walk to school an average of three days/week throughout the school year. Savings: 360 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Pump it up. Check the air pressure in your car tires at least once a month. Savings: 360 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Install compact fluorescent lights in your home in high-use locations. For every five incandescents replaced with CFLs, you save 225 pounds of CO2.

• Reduce shower time to five minutes. For each person who reduces the daily shower to five minutes, the annual savings is 300 pounds of CO2 per person.

• Install low-flow showerheads (less than 2.5 gallons per minute). Savings: 250 pounds of CO2 per year for each showerhead changed.

• Turn down the heat. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 F or the low setting. Savings: 150 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Switch to cold water. Switch to cold water wash for all laundry. For each load less per week using warm/hot water, save 100 pounds of CO2 annually.

• Turn off your appliances all the way. Plug TVs, DVDs, stereo equipment, monitors, printers, etc., with a boxy power supply into a power strip. Turn off the power strip when not in use. Savings: 250 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Eat lower on the food chain. Switch one meal per week from meat to vegetarian. For each weekly meal a household switches to vegetarian, save 700 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Reduce weekly garbage by 16 gallons (Los Altos bins are 32 gallons). Make sure all recyclable waste gets recycled at curbside. Savings: 1,560 pounds per 16 gallons of waste reduction.

• Get off the (plastic) bottle. Stop buying bottled water; use a refillable water bottle instead. Savings: 140 pounds of CO2 per person.

• Bring your own bags. Avoid using new grocery bags for household shopping; switch to reusable canvas totes. Savings: 80 pounds of CO2 per year.

• Reduce junk mail. Sign up with www.greendimes.com and specify the catalogs you no longer wish to receive. Savings: Reduce junk mail by 75 percent and save nearly 70 pounds of CO2.

• De-cup your coffee. Bring your own reusable mug and cut out five disposable coffee cups per week. Savings: 65 pounds of CO2 per year, per person.

- Courtesy of Cool Los Altos

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