We Can Make a Difference




Climate change may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. Many greenhouse gases come from things we do every day. As we have learned, these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer.




Driving a car or using electricity is not wrong. We just have to be smart about it.Some people use less energy by carpooling. For example, four people can ride together in one car instead of driving four cars to work. Here are some additional ways you can help make the planet a better place!




Read



Learning about the environment is very important. There are many good books that will help you learn. To get started, ask a teacher or a librarian for some suggestions. You also can look at the Links page to find other good web sites with information about the environment and climate change.




Save Electricity



Whenever we use electricity, we help put greenhouse gases into the air. By turning off lights, the television, and the computer when you are through with them, you can help a lot.




Bike, Bus, and Walk



You can save energy by sometimes taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking.




Talk to Your Family and Friends



Talk with your family and friends about climate change. Let them know what you've learned.




Plant Trees



Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air.




Recycle



Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags, and newspapers. When you recycle, you send less trash to the landfill and you help save natural resources, like trees, oil, and elements such as aluminum.




When You Buy, Buy Cool Stuff



There are lots of ways we can improve the environment. One of the ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the air is to buy products that don't use as much energy. By conserving energy, we help reduce climate change and make the Earth a better place. Some products - like certain cars and stereos - are made specially to save energy.




This is a graphic with four separate blocks. The first block depicts a man pusing a shopping cart filled with a car, a washing machine, a VCR, a TV and more - caption: Cars, stereos, and VCRs can be energy smart. The second block is the recycle symbol, which is three arrows pointing to the next in a circular motion. The third block depicts the ENERGY STAR symbol or logo. The fourth block depicts a solar panel that is mounted on a pole - caption: Solar panels such as these can provide electricity to buildings.

Some Things to Think About



Did you know that you can help the environment if you buy recyclable products instead of non-recyclable ones? Look for the recycle mark - three arrows that make a circle - on the package. Recyclable products are usually made out of things that already have been used. It usually takes less energy to make recycled products than to make new ones. The less energy we use, the better.




Solar Energy



Imagine that it's a hot summer day. You put a scoop of ice cream on the sidewalk, and it melts. Why? Well, you probably know that the sun causes the ice cream to melt. But you may not know that the sun produces solar energy. Solar energy is a fancy way of saying "energy that comes from the sun." Solar energy can be used to heat homes, buildings, water, and to make electricity. Today, more than 200,000 houses in the United States take advantage of the sun's energy.




Cars



Cars are an important part of life for most people. But cars also cause pollution and release a lot of greenhouse gases into the air. Fortunately, there are some cars that are better for the environment. These cars can travel longer on a smaller amount of gasoline. They don't pollute as much, either. Using these kinds of cars can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.




ENERGY STAR®



Many things, like computers, TVs, stereos, and VCRs, have special labels on them. The label says "Energy" and has a picture of a star. Products with the ENERGY STAR® label are made to save energy. Buying products with ENERGY STAR® labels will help protect the environment.






Much of the information in this section (including text and images) has been sourced from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Visit the EPA website to learn more.

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