The rate of global warming is increasing. According to a number of climate studies, the last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia.
An author and senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists was in Albany recently, giving practical tips on how to live a low-carbon lifestyle. Jeff Deyette says driving a fuel efficient vehicle is one of the biggest ways to make a smaller carbon footprint.
"Simply going from a car that gets 20 miles per gallon to one that gets 40 miles per gallon, for example, could reduce your carbon emissions by as much as three and a half tons. For the average American who emits around 21 tons of carbon a year, that's a significant reduction right there."
Deyette says a properly tuned car with the correct air pressure in the tires and a reduction in unnecessary idling can save motorists 5% to 7% of their yearly carbon emissions and also save them about $500 a year in fuel.
Reducing the amount of beef in your diet is also a way to adopt a more green lifestyle, according to Deyette. " It doesn't mean we all have to all go out and become vegetarians or vegans to make a significant difference in lowering our carbon footprint from our diets. But even just taking meat from the center of our plate and moving it to the side of our plates and filling the rest of that plate with whole grains and vegetables and fruits can make a discernable difference in lowering your carbon emissions over time."
Deyette is the co-author of Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living.