1. You don’t need a Prius to make an earth-friendly
impact. In fact, research out of the University of Chicago
shows that you can do more for the planet by going vegan.
Twenty-eight percent of the typical U.S. diet comes from animal
sources, reports the New Scientist (Dec. 17,
2005), and this omnivorous diet ‘generates the equivalent of nearly
1.5 tons more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet
with the same number of calories.’ The difference between driving
your dad’s old Buick and a new hybrid is just over one ton. If you
aren’t ready to go vegan, the researchers suggest eating fewer
processed animal products and choosing poultry over red meat.
2. If changing your diet isn’t in the cards, consider
changing the temperature-at work. The Japanese
government’s ‘Cool Biz’ campaign prodded firms such as the Oji
Group to loosen the dress code and ease off the air conditioning.
Last summer, the company kept the thermostat three degrees higher
than usual at its company headquarters, going from 79 to 82
degrees. With this minor shift, reports Natural
Life (March/April 2006), the company reduced carbon
dioxide emissions by 97 tons. The program was so successful that
last winter, they reversed the trend and set heaters at 68
degrees-nine degrees cooler than the year before. –Laine