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Green Living Certification
Chapter 2 - Environmental Primer
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2.2 What about us?

There are many other environmental issues you can be aware of and concerned about - from our landfills filling up at an alarming rate, to deforestation.

These are all things we'll talk about in future chapters - how you can impact the problems in a positive way with the many daily choices you make.But many of these concerns also play into global warming, because when you give away instead of throw away your clothes, you give people an opportunity to buy your clothes instead of increase the demand for new clothes. When you put a filter on your faucet and drink tap water instead of bottled water, you help to keep the plastic bottles from the landfill and help to reduce the gasses those landfills emit into the air.

But you might still get a sense that your efforts on a local level might not make an impact. But they do.

Let's look at water. On a local level, it's important to conserve water because your municipality's reserves might be drying up, but globally, what difference does it make?

It takes a good deal of electricity to clean water to make it potable for showers, drinking, preparing food, etc.

Most energy generation systems burn fossil fuels to run. Fossil fuels are believed to be one of the main contributors to global warming.

On the other end of things, many energy generation systems are operated through the use of water. As water resources dry up and droughts become a major concern, this could create a problem as our demand for energy increases each year. Reducing your energy usage, then, is also good for the environment.

What difference does your car make, really? You're just one vehicle, after all, and your one car surely can't make a difference. So you'll stick with your big SUV, thank you very much.

Let's look at the facts. Let's say hypothetically you drive a 2005 Chevy Tahoe. This is a large vehicle that gets about 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 on the highway. Although this vehicle creates more pollution in the air and costs more money to fuel, it is still one of the most popular vehicles in the United States today.

According to the EPA, if you drive the average 12,000 miles per year, you are emitting 16,337 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air each year. By switching to even just a hybrid Tahoe (available first in 2008), you could reduce that emission by more than 5,000 pounds a year. Better yet, switch to a smaller car and take that emission reduction even further.

You can make a difference.

One of the primary goals of environmentalists these days is to not only convince people that they can make a difference, but to educate people. If you aren't well versed on the issues, it's hard to understand how you can take that knowledge and turn it into action.

That's what we're here for. Keep reading; this course is full of useful, hands-on actions you take on a daily basis in your life to make a difference.


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 By: Tia on May 21, 2010
  this is a lot 2 read
 By: Nicole on May 22, 2010
  It's a lot to read but it's worth it. :) We ALL need to educate ourselves about the Earth and we ALL need to help. Otherwise, we really have no right to complain about things.
    By: Mr. Dana on Mar 17, 2019
  Fast-forward to 2019, and things haven't really improved and not much headway has been achieved. More extreme weather events (fires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes) are occurring more frequently, with greater intensity.
       By: Jessica on Jan 12, 2022
  And even more fast forwarded look at the disgrace of these money making corporations at any means necessary no coronavirus exist just as the global warming doesn’t exist they're selfish mongrels that do not care what happens to our creators earth and the people that won’t be able to survive in maybe even 200 years if the temperature going up that high.

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