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January 18, 2012

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9ulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 5B Twelve simple steps for going green in 2012 As we head into 2012, many of us will be resolving to lose those few extra pounds, save more money, or spend a few more hours with our families and friends. But there are also some resolutions we can make to make our lives a lit- tle greener. Each of us, espe- cially in the United States, can make a commitment to reducing our environmental impacts. "The global community, and particularly people liv- ing in industrialized soci- eties, have put unsustain- ' able demands on our plan- et's limited resources," says Robert Engelman, president of the Worldwatch Institute, a global environmental re- search organization based in Washington, D.C. "If we expect to be able to feed, shelter and provide even basic living conditions to our growing population in years to come, we must act now to change." The United Nations has designated 2012 as the Inter- national Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Broadening access to sustainable energy is essential to solving many of the world's challenges, in- cluding food production, se- curity and poverty. "With so many hungry and poor in the world, addressing these issues is critical," says Danielle Nierenberg, direc- tor of Worldwatch's Nour- ishing the Planet project. "Fortunately, the solutions to these problems can come from simple innovations and practices." The Nourishing the Planet team recently traveled to 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and soon will be trav- eling to Latin America, to re- search and highlight such solutions. The project shines a spotlight on innovations in agriculture that can help al- leviate hunger and poverty while also protecting the en- vironment. These innova- ' tions are elaborated in Worldwatch's flagship annu- al report, State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nour- ish the Planet. Hunger, poverty and cli- mate change are issues that we can all help address. Here are 12 simple steps to go green in 2012: Protection Agency, for each pound of aluminum recov- ered, Americans save the en- ergy resources necessary to generate roughly 7.5 kilo- watt-hours of electricity -- enough to power a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years. What you can do: Put a separate container next to your trash can or printer, making it easier to separate your bottles, cans and paper for recycling. Turn off the lights On the last Saturday in March -- March 31 in 2012 -- hundreds of people, busi- nesses and governments around the world turn off their lights for an hour as part of Earth Hour, a move- ment to address climate change. What you can do: Earth Hour happens only once a year, but you can make an impact every day by turning off lights during bright day- light, Or whenever you will be away for an extended pe- riod of time. Make the switch In 2007, Australia became the first country to "ban the bulb," drastically reducing domestic usage of incandes- cent light bulbs. By late 2010, incandescent bulbs had been totally phased out, and, ac- cording to the country's en- vironment minister, this simple move has made a big difference, cutting an esti- mated 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. China also recently pledged to replace the 1 bil- lion incandescent bulbs used in its government offices with more energy efficient models within five years. What you can do: A bill in Congress to eliminate in- candescent in the United States failed in 2011, but you can still make the switch at home. Compact fluorescent ::lamps (CFLs) use on!yi20 - 30 percent of the energy re- quired by incandescents to create the same amount of light, and LEDs use only 10 percent, helping reduce both electric bills and carbon emissions. Turn on the tap The bottled water industry sold 8.8 billion gallons of water in 2010, generating nearly $11 billion: in profits. Yet plastic water bottles cre- ate huge environmental problems. The energy re- quired to produce and trans- port these bottles could fuel Recycle Recycling programs exist in cities and towns across the United States, helping to save energy and protect the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental OLD COIN COLLECTIONS... 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The United States has more than 160,000 public water systems, and by eliminating bottled water you can help to keep nearly 1 million tons of bottles out of the landfill, as well as save money on water costs. Turn down the heat The U.S'. Department of Energy estimates that con- sumers can save up to 15 per- cent on heating and cooling bills just by adjusting their thermostats. Turning down the heat by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours can result in savings of 5 to 15 percent on your home heating bill. What you can do: Turn down your thermostat when you leave for work, or use a programmable thermostat to control your heating settings. Support food recovery programs Each year, roughly a third of all food produced for hu- man Consumption -- approx- imately 1.3 billion tons -- gets lost or wasted, includ- ing 34 million tons in the United States, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Grocery stores, bak- eries and other food providers throw away tons of food daily that is perfectly edible but is cosmetically imperfect or has passed its expiration date. In response, food recovery programs run by homeless shelters or food banks ctJllect this food and use it to provide meals for the hungry, helping to divert food away from landfills and into the bellies of peoPle who need it most. What you can do: Encour- age your local restaurants and grocery stores to part- ner with food rescue organi- zations. Go through your cabinets and shelves and donate any non-perishable canned and dried foods that you won't be using to your nearest food bank or shelter. Buy local "Small Business Satur- day," falling between "Black Friday" and "Cyber Mon- day," was established in 2010 as a way to support small businesses during the busiest shopping time of the year. Author and consumer advocate Michael Shuman argues that local small busi- nesses are more sustainable because they are often more accountable for their ac- tions, have smaller environ- mental footprints and inno- vate to meet local conditions -- providing models for oth- ers to learn from. What you can do: Instead of relying exclusively on large supermarkets, consid- er farmers markets and local farms for your produce, eggs, dairy and meat. Food from these sources is usually fresher and more flavorful, and your money will be go- ing directly to these food producers. Get out and ride We all know that" carpool- ing and using public trans- portation helps Cut down on greenhouse gas emis- sions, as well as our gas bills. Now, cities across the country are investing in new mobility options that pro- vide exercise and offer an al- ternative to being cramped in subways or buses: bike sharing programs that allow people to rent bikes for short-term use. Plumas County's own Bike Barn at Feather River College offers a similar service. What you can do: If available, use your area's bike share program to run short errands or commute to work. Member- ships are generally inexpen- sive, and by eliminating transportation costs, as well as a gym membership, you can save quite a bit of money. Even if without bike share programs, many cities and towns are incorporating bike lanes and trails, mak- ing it easier and safer to use your bike for transportation and recreation. FEATURE OF THE WEEK: 10% OFF on all in-stock Ann Clark Ltd. Cookies Curlers Tin cookies cutters with sturdy tin handles and colorful recipe cards. Made in theUSA. I ' 2019 East Main St., Quincy 283-2929 I www.quincyhotspot .com Share a car Car sharing programs spread from Europe to the United States nearly 13 years ago and are increasingly popular, with U.S. member- ship jumping 117 percent be- tween 2007 and 2009. Accord- ing to the University of Cali- fornia Transportation Cen- ter, each shared car replaces 15 personally owned vehi- cles, and roughly 80 percent of more than 6,000 car-shar- ing households surveyed across North America got rid of their cars after joining a sharing service. In 2009, car-sharing was credited with reducing U.S. carbon emissions by more than 482,000 tons. What you can do: As of July 2011, there were 26 car share programs in the Unit- ed States, with more than 560,000 people sharing over 10,000 vehicles. No official car-sharing program exists in Plumas County yet, but that shouldn't stop folks from arranging with friends and neighbors to carpool to work, or share trips to Reno or Chico. Plant a garden Growing your own vegeta- bles is a simple way to bring fresh and nutritious food lit- erally to your doorstep. Re- searchers at the FAO and the United Nations Develop- ment Programme estimate that 200 million city dwellers around the world are al- ready growing and selling their own food, feeding some 800. million of their neigh- bors. Growing a garden doesn't have to take up a lot of space, and in light of high food prices and recent food safety scares, even a small plot can make a big impact on your diet and wallet. What you can do: Plant some lettuce in a window box. Lettuce seeds are cheap and easy to find, and when planted in full sun, one win- dow box can provide enough to make several salads throughout a season. Compost And what better way to fertilize your garden than using your own composted organic waste. You will not only reduce costs by buying less fertilizer, but you will also help to cut down on food and other organic waste. What you can do: If you are unsure about the right ways to compost, websites such as and organizations such as the U.S. Composting Council provide easy steps to reuse your organic waste. Reduce your meat con- sumption Livestock production ac- counts for about 18 percent of all human-caused green- house gas emissions and ac- counts for about 23 percent of all global water used in agriculture. Yet global meat production has experienced a 20 percent growth rate since 2000 to meet the per capita increase of meat con- sumption of about 42 kilo- grams. What you can do: You don't have to become a vege- tarian or vegan -- simply cutting down on the amount of meat you consume can go a long way. Consider substi, tuting one meal a day with a vegetarian option. And if you are unable to think of how to substitute your meat- heavy diet, websites such as Meatless Monday and Eating Well offer numerous vege- tarian recipes that are healthy for you and the envi- ronment. The most successful and lasting New Year's resolu- tions are those that are prac- ticed regularly and have an important goal. Watching the ball drop in Times Square happens only once a year, but for more and more people across the world, the impacts of hunger, poverty and climate change are felt every day. Thankfully, sim- ple practices, such as recy-. cling or riding a bike, can have great impact. As we prepare to ring in the new year, let's all resolve to make 2012 a healthier, happi- er, and greener year for all. Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C., that works on energy, resource and environ- mental issues. The institute's State of the World report is pub- lished annually in more than 20 languages. For more informa- tion, visit Don't Spoil Our Soil, Recycle Used Oil And Oil Filters Shopping for insurance? Mike and Valerie Flanigan, along with their qualified staff, offer exceptional insurance products and services. 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