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Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Happy 50th Birthday, Earth Day!
On April 22, 1970, over one million people flooded the streets of New York, and more across the nation, to show support for environmental protection. It was the beginning of a movement that resulted in bipartisan Clean Air and Water legislation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the spring of 2020, our world suffered the first stages of a global health crisis on top of the global warming crisis. The "Stay Home Stay Healthy" order resulted in noticeably cleaner air and water in many cities!
Reducing carbon emissions protects public health by avoiding respiratory problems in humans. What’s good for human health is good for the community and the planet!
We can’t always have a big Earth Day birthday party but we can pledge to do at least one thing each year to help restore and protect the earth! See below for ideas.
Vehicle emissions are Washington’s largest contributor to air pollution from greenhouse gases. Improve your health while avoiding air pollution by walking, biking, or using public transportation to get around! Visit the Sequim Bicycle Alliance page for more on cycling in Sequim.
In addition, electric vehicles are becoming more common and thus more affordable, especially with both state and federal incentives or rebates on the cost of buying new. Buying a used EV can be another way to make your purchase affordable, if you don’t need the 200 to 250-mile range newer batteries allow.
Pledge to bicycle, walk or ride transit 50 times before the end of 2020!
Pledge to test-drive an EV!
The energy used to heat, light, and power our buildings is the 2nd biggest source of emissions. Making them more energy efficient is an important step toward sustainability.
Mattias Jarvegren, Utilities Services Supervisor at PUD No. 1 of Clallam County, says the top three things a homeowner can do to conserve energy include:
- Make sure your home is fully insulated;
- Make sure that it’s heated by a heat pump, ductless or ducted; and
- Upgrade your water heater to a heat pump water heater.
Mattias says, "The reason for these three is because every homeowner on the Peninsula’s top energy uses are space heating and water heating. Insulation gets mentioned first because, just like we put on warmer clothes when it gets cold, so should we make sure that our homes are also wearing warm clothes. I.e., insulation."
If you have questions or would like to talk about your home’s energy use, Mattias says feel free to contact the PUD’s Utility Services Department either by phone (360.452.9771) or email: Utility.Services.Info@ClallamPUD.net.
Pledge to conserve energy by making one home improvement in 2020!
Pledge to have an energy-efficiency audit whether you own or rent your home! Contact PUD, listed above.
DE-CARBONIZE THE POWER SUPPLY
Electric utilities in Washington are required to transition to carbon-neutrality by 2030. Clallam PUD purchases electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, and it is mostly generated at hydroelectric plants in central Washington. We are lucky there is relatively little energy sourced from fossil fuel (carbon) combustion in the Pacific Northwest compared to other regions in the U.S.
Still, individuals and organizations can make a difference by building solar or supporting other renewable energy projects. For more information see https://clallampud.net/renewable-energy/ or contact PUD’s Utility Services Department either by phone (360.452.9771) or email: Utility.Services.Info@ClallamPUD.net.
Pledge to learn more about your power supply and renewable options.
Landfills produce 20% of the nation’s methane emissions, so recycling and re-using are good ways to reduce your impact on the atmosphere.
- Recycle Right by following guidelines found on this webpage.
- Compost your food waste into fertilizer for your yard. Composting makes a big difference in reducing methane emissions.
- Take lots of other steps toward zero-waste - learn from WSU at this webpage.
Pledge to #RecycleRight!
Pledge to Compost!
Pledge to find a new way to prevent waste in your household!
Getting hands a little dirty or feet wet helping with environmental restoration projects can be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. Here is a link listing organizations on the North Olympic Peninsula that offer such opportunities (Clallam and Jefferson counties are included):