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WELCOME TO OUR ENVIRONMENTAL SITE. Most people who enjoy outdoor activities feel a certain responsibility toward protecting and preserving our environment. The purpose of this site is to help promote good stewardship of our great outdoors, one person at a time. This segment is titled How Can You Help?

  

USER AGREEMENT

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

            There is now plenty of evidence to support global warming. The more recent information suggests that warming has intensified causing glaciers to retreat at an alarming rate. This retreat appears to be much more significant than it has been at anytime in the last 15 or 20 centuries!

             It seems that if a person only believes in the possibility of global warming that the prudent course of action would be to take a proactive stance on the matter until all the facts are in. A proactive approach is always superior to a reactive one. So, whether or not you believe, or you only suspect that global warming is an issue, now would be the time to begin fighting climate change. People might argue that an individual cannot do much and only big government and corporations can make a difference. But in contrast to that line of thought, one could argue that if an individual starts small, with just a few changes in life style, this leads to a mindset of environmental friendliness, which in turn leads to political awareness, which in turn leads you to exert pressure on these big organizations to enact change.

            The individual can make a difference. For example, if 10% of the cars in Los Angeles are being driven with low tire pressure (which creates drag), gas consumption is increased by approximately 315,000 gallons per week. This is based on the assumption that properly inflated tires saves 5% in fuel consumption. You can do the math; 12,000,000 people in L.A. drive 4,500,000 cars using 1 gallon of gas per day, per car. 10% of those cars are being driven with under-inflated tires. Inflate these tires to the recommended pressure, from the owner’s manual, and the savings is 45,000 gallons per day. 45,000 X 365 days per year = 16,425,000 gallons of gas saved per year in one U.S. city, from doing one simple thing. That would reduce carbon emissions by about 330,000,000 pounds per year. The question is; what % of cars in LA are being driven with under inflated tires?  Even if it is far less than the estimated 10% stated above, the reduction in carbon released to the atmosphere and the savings in gallons of gasoline are still going to be very significant.  All figures in this example are estimates of the author. 

HERE ARE TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE GASOLINE CONSUMPTION

  1. Get your foot out of it. Accelerate slowly and decelerate slowly.
  2. Travel at the recommended speed limit.
  3. Have regular tune-ups performed on your car’s engine.
  4. Do not warm your car up for more than one minute, and then travel at low speeds (under 40 MPH) until the temperature gauge moves into the acceptable zone. Use common sense, and do not do this at the risk of your own well-being (travel at a low speed if on a freeway for example).
  5. Take unnecessary stuff out of your car. Reducing the weight in your car saves gas.
  6. Only place racks on your roof when you are going to use them. They tumble the air over your vehicle and cause it to pass through the air less efficiently
  7. Use your air conditioning only when absolutely necessary. Engaged air conditioners decrease gas mileage by  20%.
  8. Keep your air filter free of dirt, bugs, and dust by changing it regularly.
  9. Avoid congested traffic, travel at the less busy times of day when ever possible.
  10. Finally, take the bus once a week or more.
     
    Similar and more complete lists: Gas saving tip are found posted on the internet and, in many cases, right in your own state on the Department of Transportation sites.
     
    Other Resources: fueleconomy.gov and epa.gov

LET’S TALK GREEN: Ways you can help
      Live in a “green” house, or make the one you’re in more environmentally conscious. To begin your journey toward creating a greener living environment, browse the internet using the following tag line; “building an environmentally sensitive house”. The search will yield about 1,900,000 million bits of information on this subject, which is plenty to get you going. However, before you search, consider this tidbit. The most environmentally sensitive approach to building and living in a green home is to design and build a smaller house. Think 1500 square feet or less. Unbelievably, a good architect can design it in such a way that it feels much larger than it really is. Think about all the materials (trees) you save, the transportation and manufacturing costs that are eliminated, and finally, all the energy conserved.
One design I like is the pyramid house. It has R-39 walls, hydronic heat, and its windows act as very effective passive solar energy transmitters. They pass the solar energy into the house at a very high rate because the windows slant at 52%. Eleven windows, in 1500 square foot pyramid home, can probably provide the same energy as 25 windows placed on vertical walls. Pyramid houses are less likely to blow away in a big windstorm because the wind bounces over them instead of slamming into the vertical walls of a traditional American house.

PYRAMID HOUSE TWO MODULES CONNECTED BY A-FRAME
TEN WAYS TO BE MORE GREEN IN AND AROUND THE HOUSE
  1. Water your lawn less. Even in semi-arid hot zones, lawns can survive and thrive with a two or three-times-a-week deep watering schedule. If this does not keep your lawn green, take a sample to your local garden center to determine the real problem.
  2. Use a mulching mower. This creates no grass waste to haul away, and the cut grass acts as a nutrient base for the lawn. Cut only the third top of the blade height each time you mow. If you are able, use a non-motorized push mower.
  3. Get a smaller lawn. Design some natural vegetation into the lawn, use more bark areas, more recycled decking, and walking paths to reduce lawn size. Then water all your new plants with a can or drip lines and do away with some of your sprinklers.
  4. Begin to replace expired light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
  5. Recycle fiberboard, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, paper, coat hangers, and other metal.
  6. Drive a car with a smaller engine, take public transportation once a week, ride your bike to the store, and/or run errands on a motorcycle or scooter. Here is how one person’s gasoline consumption breaks down.
  • Drives Car w/ no passengers 40% of the total miles traveled, averaging 20.5 miles to the gallon.
  • Drives Car w/ one passenger 25% of total miles traveled, averaging 41 miles to the gallon (assumes passenger would otherwise be driving their own car and would average 20.5 miles to the gallon).
  • Rides Motorcycle 34% of total miles traveled, averaging 46.3 miles to the gallon.
  • Rides a bicycle 1% of the total miles traveled, using no gasoline.
  • For every 100 miles traveled, this person averages 30.35 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed.
  • To calculate your miles per gallon, convert the percentage for a through d above, to a mileage figure so that a through d adds up to 100. For example, 40% equals 40 miles driven. Then, for each category divide the miles driven by the miles per gallon achieved by each type of vehicle. Add up all the gasoline usage and divide this number into 100 to see your overall miles per gallon usage.

Example from bulleted list above: 40+25+34+1=100. 40 divided by 20.5=1.95, 25 divided by 41=.61, 34 divided by 46.3=.734, and 1 divided by 0=0, then add 1 mile to total. Add 1.95+.61+.734+0=3.294. Divide 3.294 into 101=30.66 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed.

Riding a bicycle 5% of your total miles traveled, will increase mileage,
in the example above, to almost 32 MPG.

7.  Capture the sun’s natural solar energy and hold it in your house. Do this by opening your curtains in the morning and closing them at dusk. Depending on where you live, you may want to close your curtains during the very hot part of the day. You pay less for heating bills.
8.  Turn your thermostat down several degrees at night.
9.  Eliminate dry cleaning your clothes. Buy wrinkle-free items that can be washed and hung to dry.
10. Change your furnace filters on a regular basis. Do it at least three times per year.

DISCLAIMER
We are not experts in the field of environmental savings, but just like you, we want to help make others aware of things that can help slow the onset of global warming, while keeping the air and water clean. Please use our suggestions as information only, and consult an environmental, energy, automotive, construction or conservation professional before you choose to implement any of our suggestions.

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