There are things you can do at home that can contribute to the health and sustainability of our national parks. You can help by adopting sustainable practices, soliciting businesses that promote sustainability, and supporting non-profits that protect the environment. By purchasing a reusable water bottle, or replacing your incandescent lights with CFLs or LEDs, you have helped preserve our beloved public lands.
Calculate your Carbon Footprint A good starting point is to calculate and track your carbon footprint. Do Your Part for Climate Friendly Parks has a carbon calculator and an e-mail newsletter with sustainable living tips.
Purchase Carbon Credits Before You Travel One way to further reduce your carbon footprint is to purchase carbon offsets to counterbalance the considerable carbon pollution associated with travel. We recommend researching reputable third-party organizations that offer a tangible way to offset your carbon footprint. One such organization is Terrapass.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle This 3R rule provides the key to going green. Reduce the resources you use. Reuse whenever possible. And recycle when the first two options don’t work.
Walk, Bike, Carpool, or use Public Transportation Did you know that for every gallon of gas your car consumes, almost twenty pounds of greenhouse gases are emitted into the air? Minimizing your solo driving and utilizing pollution-free transportation alternatives like walking and biking will help the environment.
Eat Locally Most of the food you eat has traveled an average of 1,500 miles to your plate. By eating locally, you not only support sustainable business, but you also help eliminate the fossil fuels needed to transport food.
Shorten Your Shower Your bathroom can account for over 70% of water use in a house. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you can reduce your water usage by up to 150 gallons a month. Shutting off the water while shaving can save 300 gallons per month. Don’t flush your trash and upgrade your toilet to a low-flow or water efficient model.
Energy Use Wasting energy harms the environment and costs you money. Up to half of the energy in your home can be attributed to heating and cooling. Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer. If possible, turn off the heating or cooling system at night.
Replace Your Incandescent Lighting Switch out those incandescent lights for CFLs or LED lighting. Although the purchase price may be more for CFLs and LEDs, you will save a significant amount of energy and money by making this change. If every household in America replaced just one incandescent with a CFL, it would be akin to removing the greenhouse gas emission from 800,000 automobiles.
Visit the Parks Our National Parks—America’s Best Idea—are some of the most beautiful places on earth. Visit the National Park Service for excellent travel planning information.
Support a Non-Profit Donate or volunteer to a non-profit working on climate change or national park protection.