Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do Your Part

Following up yesterday's post about the article in Backpacker Magazine about climate change and flooding at Mount Rainier, here's a website that provides great information and resources to park staff and volunteers about how individuals can participate in the effort to reduce the effects of climate change. Mount Rainier National Park is deeply involved, and among other things, will be doing an energy inventory to assess ways of improving our efficiency.

While you're roving the meadows at Paradise, encouraging people to reduce their literal footprints on the fragile subalpine ecosystem, consider also encouraging them to reduce their carbon footprint as well--one of the greatest long-term threats to that environment.
Here's a few tips from the downloadable "Do Your Park Visitor Tip Sheet" (also available at high resolution for printing):
  1. Emissions from personal vehicles make up the majority of global warming pollution generated in national parks. When possible, carpool or take public transportation to the parks, and use shuttles within the parks.

  2. Help reduce energy consumed by park buildings. Consider simple actions such as not leaving the water running when brushing teeth or turning off lights where appropriate.

  3. Recycled paper, plastics and aluminum use 55-95% less energy than products made from scratch.

  4. It is better to turn your car off than leave it running. Letting your car idle for just 20 seconds burns more gasoline than turning your car off and on again.

  5. Americans buy about 28 billion water bottles every year. Energy is needed to fill, transport, and refrigerate the bottles and then recover, recycle, or dispose of them.

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