CCIHC's Top 10

CCIHC's Top 10 Ways to Create Climate Solutions (Adapted from CCIHC's presentation at the Celebrate Climate Solutions event on 10/10/10)
10.  KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid – In order to come up with solutions, people first need to understand the problem.  So help others understand climate change by explaining it in simple terms, such as:  The Earth overall is getting warmer because there’s too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  And we put more carbon in the atmosphere every time we burn fossil fuels.  

9.  Join the Few, the Proud, the Climate Change Initiative of Howard County - The purpose of CCIHC is to do what it truly takes to solve the climate crisis.  We focus on educating the public about climate change through events such as this one as well as discussion circles on sustainability.  We also advocate for climate solutions at the local, state and national levels.   Please join us as saving the planet is NOT a spectator sport. 

8.  Support your Local Climate Action Plan – Howard County has a Climate Action Plan that includes a complete inventory of how much carbon all of the residents, businesses and government of Howard County are putting into the atmosphere.  Currently Howard County generates over 4 MILLION Metric Tons of carbon PER YEAR.  The plan also describes goals and steps for reducing the county’s carbon footprint.  Learn more about this at Live Green Howard.

7.  Use Weapons of Mass Instruction – Sometimes it’s hard for people to grasp concepts like a metric ton of carbon because we can’t see it.  So how big is a metric ton of carbon?  1 metric ton takes up approximately 27’x27’x27’.   Click here for a picture of 27'x27'x27' cube made out of wood and rope - it is behind the group of people.

6.  Count your Carbs – Carbon that is.  Learn how many carbon cubes you are putting into the atmosphere by calculating your carbon footprint.  There are many carbon footprint calculators on the web including this one from the EPA. 

5.  Become the biggest loser – After you calculate your carbon footprint, you will probably be looking for ways to shed some metric tons.   The average Howard County residence puts 7 Metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere EVERY YEAR just through the use of electricity since most electricity in the state of Maryland comes from burning coal.  If you switch to clean energy for electricity you can cut your carbon footprint by 7 Metric tons PER YEAR.  You can sign up for clean energy through organizations like Clean Currents.  It literally only takes 10 minutes to make the switch. 

4.  Don’t just hug a tree, plant one – Planting trees is another great way to reduce carbon.  

3.  Rally to restore sustainability – Ask our elected leaders to take action.  We want real climate solutions NOW. 

2.  Vote early and vote often - You can vote for climate solutions with your wallet every day by supporting local green businesses. Help the local economy and the environment at the same time.  
1.  When the going gets tough, the tough throw a party!  While there is still much more that needs to be done to get our collective carbon footprint down to a more sustainable size, it is important to celebrate the progress we are making.   As E.B. White once said, “I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.” 

Dec 4, 2010, 5:21 PM