“5 things you can do about climate change” – CNN, 6 May 2014

We here at Phinix are huge proponents of doing what you can at home to prevent any further impacts of climate change. The disastrous effects of global warming are stacking up, leading to higher temperatures and rising sea levels. More flooding, wildfires, and droughts are to be expected. Here are five things you can do to lend a helping hand to the environment.

Become Informed

Staying informed about what policy makers are doing and saying is paramount. If you stay educated on climate change, then you can make knowledgeable decisions when voting and electing politicians into office. It also wouldn’t hurt to know what the policy makers are discussing:

  • Lowering carbon dioxide levels—for example, establishing carbon taxes and carbon caps;
  • Changing the Earth’s response to the effects of climate change—for example, building seawalls to combat the rising sea levels; and
  • Adapting the Earth to counteract climate change—for example, changing our oceans to absorb more CO2.

Make Changes at Home

The EPA suggests you do the following to curb your greenhouse gas emissions, which will also save you money:

  • Change your five most-used light bulbs to products that have the EPA’s Energy Star label;
  • Heat and cool more efficiently, such as by using a programmable thermostat, changing air filters, and replacing old equipment with Energy Star products;
  • Seal and insulate your home;
  • Make use of recycling programs, and compost food and yard waste;
  • Reduce water waste;
  • Use green power, such as solar panels; and
  • Estimate how much greenhouse gas you emit with the EPA’s calculator.

Be Greener at the Office

You can also help out at the office. Here’s how:

  • Set computers and other office equipment to power down during periods when you’re not using them;
  • Use Energy Star equipment; and
  • Recycle and reuse whenever possible.

Reduce Emissions in Transit

You can reduce your emissions both in your daily and cross-country commutes:

  • Rely on public transportation, biking, walking, carpooling, or telecommuting instead of driving;
  • Use the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide to help you make an informed choice about buying a car;
  • While driving, try to avoid hard accelerations, don’t spend more than 30 seconds idling, and go easy on the gas pedal and brakes; and
  • Make sure to regularly check your tire pressure.

When you’re traveling by plane, try these tricks:

  • Consider packing lighter because less fuel is consumed with less weight on the plane;
  • Fly during the day because night flights have a bigger impact on the climate; and
  • Buy carbon credits to compensate for the emissions on your flight.

Get Involved and Educate Others About the Bigger Picture

Though one person’s efforts might only have a small influence, involving and educating others will allow our impact to grow. Together, we can help to prevent any further damaging effects of climate change.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

May 13, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2014. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Subodh Das Profiled on The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Publication

Buy a copy of Sustainability Gone PostalScreen shot 2013-07-24 at 1.17.42 PM

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“Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel” – New York Times, 26 January 2013

For the last few years, the world has been going green — embracing everything environmentally-friendly from cars to lightbulbs. Obama, too, has made promises, citing in his Inaugural Address that climate change is a high-priority in his second term. However, reversing the effects of climate change is global effort, and it seems that the world is disagreeing one on major aspect: aviation’s carbon footprint.

Last fall, amid many a Congressional disagreement, Democrats, Republicans and Obama were able to agree on one bill: the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011. The law bans American airlines from partaking in the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading System, Europe’s method of curbing carbon emissions. According to the eight-year-old EU Emissions Trading System, European power plants and manufacturers have to pay a fine if they exceed carbon emission rates. This year, the aviation sector was also set to begin paying for emissions produced during flights in and out of EU airports.

After American, Indian and Chinese airlines and governments threw a fit, the European Commission delayed the aviation sector’s joining for one year, allowing those governments to come up with a more feasible course of action. Next September, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization is holding a multinational meeting in order to sort the issue.

Most people don’t know that airline travel is a large contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. A round-trip flight from New York to Europe is equal to emitting 2-3 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The typical American adds almost 19 tons of carbon dioxide per year, while the typical European adds 10. Currently, air travel emissions make up 5% of global warming; and that statistic is slated to increase, as the amount of air travel will surpass achievements in flight fuel efficiency.

Though the airline sector has successfully avoided paying any monetary fees for its emissions, that seems to be changing. Last year, US airlines made their case in front of the European Court of Justice, poorly arguing that EU’s taxing emissions on trans-Atlantic flights was illegitimate because those flights flew into international space.

It really is a matter of money. Though the price of carbon credits is currently at an all time low, those prices could skyrocket, increasing ticket prices and lowering US aviation sector’s profits. The trade group for American carriers, Airlines for America, has suggested a plan in which all flights until 2020 will have set emission rates, and any fines will be determined later — such a plan might help to ease the financial burden. Though analysts’ insights vary, the real test will be how Obama follows through on his climate-change-promise, and how the US will engage with the issue in the international arena.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

February 18, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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“Sustainability Gone Postal” – Book By Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney, 2nd Edition

Phinix LLC Publishes 2nd Edition of Sustainability Gone Postal!, a book based on our 15-part blog series inspired by the USPS “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

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Phinix LLC is pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of our book, Sustainability Gone Postal!, a short book based on our 15-Part blog series inspired by the United States Postal Service’s “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

This second edition has been completely re-imagined from the ground up. Each page features colorful designs and incredible images and illustrations bound in a beautiful glossy cover. This 15-Part volume describes practical, real-life tips for achieving a greener lifestyle. Each colorful chapter offers valuable insights from leading experts in ecology, environmentalism, and energy efficiency. Sustainability Gone Postal! addresses the following topics:

1. Local Produce Reuse Bags

2. Walking as Transportation

3. Recycling More Often

4. Using Public Transportation

5. Fixing Water Leaks

6. Bicycling as Transportation

7. Using Efficient Light Bulbs

8. Carpooling and Ride Sharing

9. Working with Compost

10. Planting Trees and Vegetation

11 . Controlling Your Thermostat Efficiently

12. Saving Electricity

13. Using “Natural” Power

14. Insulating Your Home

15. Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

To learn more about our book, and order your copy, please visit: http://www.lulu.com/shop/subodh-das-and-austin-mckinney/sustainability-gone-postal/paperback/product-20665110.html

Please send your review and comments to skdas@phinix.net

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney

February 10, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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