“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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U.S. Post Office “Go Green” Initiative: Tip #4: Use Public Transportation

Last week we blogged on Tip #3: Recycle More. As part of our ongoing 15-week blog
series promoting the United States Post Office “Go Green” Stamp Collection, this
week we are blogging Tip #4: Use Public Transportation.

For those who live in fairly urban environments, you’ve no doubt encountered some
form of public transportation services. Brian Merchant of Discovery.com writes, “Around 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, according to Millennium Development Goals Report 2007. And as you’re likely aware, the global trend is continuing towards a migration towards urban populations.” Even if you don’t live in a metropolitan area, all
of us have likely used some form of public transit during our lifetime, whether it be a
school bus, a greyhound, a tram, a train, a subway, a ferry, or an airplane. Phinix is
located in Lexington, KY, home of the LexTran, the Transit Authority of Lexington.
The LexTran website provides a summary of their services:

Lextran operates a fleet of 73 buses, including a University of Kentucky campus
shuttle service, and contracts a door-to door Paratransit service through Red Cross
WHEELS. Our mainline bus service runs from 5:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. Regular bus
fare is one dollar and includes unlimited transfers on a one way trip. Other reduced
fares, as well as a variety of pass programs are also available to individuals that
qualify. For persons with disabilities, all Lextran routes are wheelchair accessible.

Public transportation services are an extremely valuable resource to our economy,
environment, and energy needs. The American Public Transportation Association
lists the following statistics on their website:
• Public transportation saves the U.S. the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline
annually.
• Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 900,000 automobile fill-ups every
day.
• For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns.
•Public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually -
equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity generated for the use of 4.9
million households or every household in Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta;
Denver; and Los Angeles combined.
• Public transportation offers an immediate alternative for individuals seeking to
reduce their energy use and carbon footprints. Taking public transportation far
exceeds the combined benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting
thermostats, weatherizing one’s home, and replacing a refrigerator.

Incorporating Public Transportation into Your Daily Life