To reduce your carbon footprint in ways more substantial than buying an expensive hybrid car or jetting to an eco-spa, here are a few suggestions from among 77 offered by “The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook” by David de Rothschild, the official companion book to the Live Earth concerts.
1. Whenever possible, replace meat with soy or other vegetable protein in your diet. It takes eight times as much energy to produce a pound of meat as it does a pound of tofu.
2. Replace your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. To save even more, turn off the lights when you leave the room.
3. Sub-size it. Houses between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet consume about 40 percent less energy than McMansions over 4,000 square feet.
4. Downsize your car. Every extra 100 pounds a car weighs requires 2 percent more fuel to move it.
5. Fly direct. Takeoffs and landings are where the most fuel is burned. Takeoffs alone can burn 25 percent of the energy used on a short trip. For trips shorter than 600 miles, consider taking the train.
6. Pull the plug. Appliances like televisions and VCRs still suck power when turned off. An estimated 95 percent of the energy consumed by cellphone chargers comes when they are left plugged in.
7. Skip the bottled water. For every one million bottles of water that are manufactured and shipped to consumers, 18.2 tons of carbon dioxide emissions are pumped into the air.