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Gardening

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WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The three biggest contributors to climate change right here in the Bay Area are from
our buildings & the energy we use, our transportation, and our food & food waste
The good news is that the solutions already exist.

If we get this right, we can make a significant difference now & for future generations.

Here are the easiest things you can do right now in those top 3 areas: 

Energy & Buildings

The energy used in buildings contributes about 26% of our regional greenhouse gas emissions.

LET'S START BY USING ENERGY EFFICIENTLY

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1. Turn off appliances that you're not using

If we use less, we pay less. The simplest thing we can all do is remember to turn off what we're not using: the lights, our computers, the games and the stereo, and any appliance that does not NEED to be on. Power strips turn off several things with the flick of one switch and at the same time protects against power surges. 

2. Use less electricity from 4-9 PM every day

If we use less electricity from 4 to 9 PM every day, we'll hit the "savings sweet spot" because energy demand is high in the evenings, and less clean energy is available. You can save more money on your energy bill by remembering that electricity is more expensive between 4 and 9 PM.

3. Don't waste water

If we don't waste water, we'll save both money and a precious resource. Pumping water through pipes to your faucet uses an enormous amount of energy. Turn off the tap, don't let water run, and use water-saving faucet aerators. Do most of your laundry on the "COLD" cycle, run your dishwasher when it's full, and check your local water agency for more tips and rebates.

4. What's next? 

Once you've taken these easy steps, you're wired for more!
Click here for more energy-saving solutions

If we all make these small changes, it won't be just a drop in the bucket.

Transportation

How we get around and move our stuff contributes 41% of our regional greenhouse gases.

LET'S START BY MAKING CHANGES TO HOW WE GET AROUND

Transportation

1. Walk or bike instead of driving

If you're close enough to walk or bike from home or work, you'll be sparing the air and getting healthier, too. Cars are convenient, but any vehicle that uses gasoline adds pollution to the air we breathe. Small changes in how we get around can add up. 

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2. Use public transit

If you can take public transit and carpool more, that's great. While public transit options don't work for every situation, the Bay Area does have multiple ways to get around. Besides BART, CalTrain, and the SMART trains, there are ferries and 19 bus systems. Learn more about your transit options at Travel Services and 511.org

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3. Consider your options

If you use ride-sharing apps, request an EV next time. If you're traveling by air, there are ways to help protect the planet from the unavoidable emissions from jet engines. Check out these pre-flight tips before you book your next flight, and find out if certified carbon offsets are available. 

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4. What's next? 

Once you've taken these easy steps, you're on your way!
Click here for more transportation solutions

If we all make these small changes, we can put a dent in our transportation emissions. 

Food & Food Waste

Food & Food Waste

Wasted food is the #3 contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, mostly methane.

LET'S START BY MAKING SMALL CHANGES WHEN WE SHOP FOR GROCERIES

1. Save money by buying only what you'll eat

If you buy only what you'll eat, you'll throw out less, you'll save money, and there won't be any more science projects in the back of your refrigerator! 

If you typically don't finish leftovers, try preparing less food to begin with.

"If food can be saved, we'll save it." Try Imperfect Foods, delivered right to your door: fresh, often organic, and often cheaper than grocery store prices. You decide what you want and place your order. Perfect!

2. Eat a plant-rich diet

Changing your diet is both a personal and a cultural decision, but plant-rich diets tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart conditions.

If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It's not really their "cow burps". Agricultural practices have a lot to do with it: it's how they're raised, grazed, and sent to market, so look for meat that is raised humanely & sustainably. The cows will thank you.

If you don't want to give up meat entirely, try a "Meatless Monday". A "plant rich" diet doesn't mean "vegetables only", but consider eating more vegetables anyway, and just a little less meat. It's a healthier choice for ourselves and our families.

3. Commit to composting

If you have scraps from cooking prep or scrapings from the plates after the meal, put them in a compost pail - on the counter or in your refrigerator or freezer. Empty pail contents into your green can with other green waste and soiled paper.

 

Composting is now required in California by law for homes and businesses, so make sure that you're using that green can. You'll be keeping those scraps out of the landfill, lowering the methane emissions, and helping the state reach its landfill diversion target.

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Food Waste Compost

If we all make these small changes, we'll be healthier - and the cows will thank us, too.

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