Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tim Flannery's "11 Realistic Ways You Can Help Reduce Global Warming"

Here is a list of action items from Tim Flannery's web site (author of The Weather Makers). After some items, I've provided links to local (mostly Ontario) resources and information.

(Action = Impact)

1. Change to accredited Green Power option = Eliminate household emissions from electricity

It's easy to do this in Ontario:

Bullfrog Power
Green Tags Ontario
Oakville Hydro's Green Power program

More information is available at Electricity Choices

2. Install energy-efficient hot water system = Up to 30% reductions in household emissions

You can install a tankless (on-demand) gas system, or a solar (thermal) system, or both!

OZZ Corporation offers high-efficient tankless hot water heaters. You can buy or rent (according to their web site)
I've also noticed them for sale at the Home Depot.

Lots of places that sell solar systems are listed on the Electricity Choices web site.

BONUS: The Ontario government is offering residential consumers a full sales tax rebate on the purchase of solar energy systems and components up to November 26, 2007.

Another energy-saving idea: Install a heat-recovery unit on your drain to recover some of the energy wasted by showers, etc.

3. Install solar panels = Eliminate household emissions from electricity

While this is a great idea, it can be really expensive. (I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing this until you've made your household as efficient as possible first.) However, with the new offering from the Ontario government it has become somewhat more cost-effective. Some people in Toronto are trying to implement this in their neighborhood.

If you want to do this on your own, Electricity Choices has a list of suppliers.

4. Use energy-efficient whitegoods = Up to 50% reduction in household emissions from electricity

When replacing your old appliances, be sure to look for the Energy Star logo!

5. Use triple-A rated shower-head = Up to 12% reduction in household emissions

These are available at any hardware store. Here's some information from HydroOne.

6. Use energy-efficient light globes = Up to 10% reduction in household emissions

Again, these are available almost everywhere. The Ontario government send some coupons for $5 off on these earlier this year.

7. Check fuel efficiency of next car = Up to 70% reduction in transport emissions

Ontario offers up to $2000 rebate on the PST when you purchase a hybrid vehicle.

8. Walk, cycle or take public transport = Can reduce transport emissions

Taking the bus, train, or your bike can be lots of fun. We've started to take our weekly trip to the grocery store by bicycle (when the weather permits). It's fun, and we get some exercise!

9. Calculate carbon footprint = Can eliminate transport & household emissions

Some places online that you can do this:

Although the Government of Canada has taken down its climate change web site, their GHG calculator is still available (for now!). Visit while you can.

There is also, Al Gore's version, and one from the World Resources Institute.

There are many more out there if you Google 'carbon footprint'. Take your pick.

Of course, then you need to decide what to do with the information. For example, maybe you want to offset your emissions. Lots of choices there too. The David Suzuki Foundation has a list of vendors, as well as lots of info.

10. Suggest a workplace audit = Up to 30% reduction in emissions

This site is from Australia, but the ideas should work here too.

11. Write to a politician about climate change = Can change the world

OK - I've tried this, and I don't think I've changed Rona's mind yet. But maybe if we all join in? It can't hurt, anyway! See this post for contact information for your federal politicians.

And don't forget your provincial and municipal politicians - especially with municipal elections coming up soon. We emit GHGs at all levels of government!

Edited to addd: Check out this post for more links to information in other provinces.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great list with the useful links! Here's another idea: telecommuting! []

I once heard about an oil company executive warning his peers that a very practical electric car is already here, though it had not come out of Detroit -- it had come out of Silicon Valley. This practical electric car is called a "modem"!

As the "driver" of a high-speed modem, my commute to work generates almost zero greenhouse gasses. And it's much, much better for my sanity than the long driving commute that I used to have. Plus, it's secure, thanks to VPN []

I just press a button and I'm virtually at the office. In a sense, my "car" can go from zero to near light speed in a few seconds! :-)

How about some tax incentives to convince reluctant employers to give it a try?

Tamara Keller said...

I have read this book, and it is a great account of where we are, how we've gotten here, and what we can do to shape our future in a positive way.
Just discovered this blog through your link in ... looks good and I will be checking back often!

LNeumann said...

Thanks Tamara!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way you could help get the word out about this event? Tim will be appearing on The Hour the night before this event.

Thank you,
Emma Roche

RSGC Guild Sponsored Speakers Series
A Focus on the Environment

Tim Flannery and Bridget Stutchbury
The Weathermakers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change

[Image:NSW AOTY Tim Flannery.jpg]

Speaking at the Bloor Cinema ~ 506 Bloor Street
April 3rd, 2008
Doors open at 6:30 pm ~ Lecture begins at 7:00 pm
Followed by book signing ~ Books available for purchase

Tickets are $25
General Admission
Purchase tickets online at [ ]

World renown explorer, conservationist and writer-scientist, Tim Flannery has written many bestselling books, including The Future Eaters, The Eternal Frontier and of course the #1 international bestseller The Weather Makers. Tim Flannery was director of the South Australia Museum and professor at Harvard and the University of Adelaide. He was voted Australian of the year in 2006 and is now professor at Maquarie Universty. His new book, An Explorer's Notebook, Essays on Life, History and Climate, will publish in Canada Spring 2008.

Short-listed for the 2007 Governor General's award for non-fiction, Silence of the Songbirds follows birds on their 10,000-kilometer journey from Canada to South America, and charts the threats. Tim Flannery claims, "this book is a must-read for anyone whose heart has thrilled to the song of a bird."  Author Bridget Stutchbury completed her PhD at Yale , was a fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian and is now an Associate Professor of Biology at York University.