Take It Home
Taking global warming issues into every individual home is the key to preventing further devastation. Just like many of the school projects overlap with other issues covered in this book, the home issues do, too. Still, it's important to give parents an easy way to deal with one of the most pressing issues of all time. Empowering people through easy tips is the key to success.
Prevent Global Warming at Home
You can help to reduce global warming by using energy more wisely. Here are five easy actions your students' families can take at home to help reduce global warming.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buy products with minimal packaging. And whenever you can, recycle.
Control your climate naturally. Instead of relying upon your heater or air conditioner all the time, watch the temperature outside and open and close your windows accordingly. Open the windows when the temperature outside is what you want inside and close them when you don't. Adding insulation to your walls and attic and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can reduce the amount of energy you use and lower your heating and cooling costs more than 25 percent. Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just two degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Change your light bulbs. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. Note: CFLs contain a small amount of mercury and should not be disposed of in the trash. Go to http://earth911.com and enter your Zip Code to learn where you can bring yours for recycling.
Drive smart. Less driving means fewer emissions. Driving less will help you save money on gasoline, and walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community's public transit system and check out options for carpooling to work or school. When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget; it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Embrace energy efficiency. When it's time to buy a new car, choose one that has good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models. Visit www.energystar.gov for more information on energy-efficient products and home improvement ideas.
Work with the students to develop a plan of action. Choose a couple of things to do right away and revisit the list to continually curb your energy consumption and reduce global warming.
Always try to find ways that your students' homework assignments can have a longer impact. Keep a list of activities that you have sent home readily available so that you can send reminders to parents asking how things are going. Celebrate successes and have the students brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles.
Tune-up the Earth
From having regular car tune-ups to driving slower, you can do many things with your car to help prevent global warming. Go to www.kidsforsavingearth.org, click on “Air,” and choose “Tune Up the Earth Challenge.” Print up the materials and send them home for your students to share with their parents.