פורסם: 27 בפבר׳ 2015, 0:34 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 5 במרץ 2015, 11:54 ]

Individual Solutions
It may sound obvious, but powering your home with solar or wind is still one of the best ways to fight climate change. Click here to see how easy it's become to switch to renewables where you live.

It turns out you can fight climate change simply by changing what you eat. You can significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions by eating less meat, buying food locally and considering meat alternatives. Going vegetarian cuts your diet's greenhouse gas impact IN HALF.

Want to fight climate change by saving water? You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for six months!

Source on the math:

  1. Let’s say you take a shower every day…and your showers average seven minutes…and the flow rate through your shower head is 2 gallons per minute…. You would use, at that rate, [5,110] gallons of water to shower every day for a year. When you compare that figure, [5,110] gallons of water, to the amount the Water Education Foundation calculates is used in the production of every pound of California beef (2,464 gallons), you realize something extraordinary. In California today, you may save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you would by not showering for six entire months. —John Robbins in The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World,
  2. The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute (gpm) (7.9 lpm).
  3. A California Water Education Foundation study found that one gallon of tofu requires 219 gallons of water per pound, compared to 477 gallons for eggs, 896 gallons for cheese and 2,463 gallons for beef. A frequently cited global study estimates that it takes 1,857 gallons to produce a pound of beef, and 469 gallons for a pound of chicken (not including processing).

You can make a sustainable choice every time your travel: choose a fuel efficient vehicle when purchasing, take public transportation if it's available, carpool to work, ride a bicycle or walk when possible. All reduce the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and heating our planet.

Does America recycle enough? And is recycling really doing very much to stop climate change? Click here to find out.

Did you know?

  1. In 2012 Americans only recycled a third of our recyclable trash. It did have the same effect as taking 33 million cars off the road, but imagine if we recycled it all.
  2. Recycling five aluminum cans saves enough energy to power a laptop for 24 hours, and yet Americans throw out more than 30 billion cans yearly.
  3. Aluminum and glass can be recycled over and over again. Don’t ever throw it away!
  4. We would save 25 billion trees yearly if we recycled all of our newspapers.
  5. Americans throw away 25 million plastic bottles each hour.

Do you want to earn rewards for recycling? Check out RecycleBank. Things like recycling at home, volunteering in your community and playing “green games” online earns points redeemable for food, clothes and magazines. Since 2004, Recyclebank has helped dispose of nearly 4 billion pounds of waste.


EPA, Overview of Greenhouse Gases

EPA, Municipal Solid Waste, 11 Facts About Recycling


Do you want to know how carbon dioxide is making life worse for you ... right where you live? Just enter in your city, state and country and the Climate Reality Project team will tell you.

Save some money and do some good with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats learn your routines and adjust your home's temperature for peak efficiency, saving money on energy bills while decreasing emissions.

Check out NEST for one thermostat option.

Can changing a lightbulb really have an impact? If every household in the United State switched just ONE regular bulb to a CFL or LED bulb it would be equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the road!

Look for the ENERGY STAR label (which highlights efficient products) when buying things like appliances, electronics, office equipment and many more categories.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which helps consumers identify products that are 10-to-50% more efficient. Categories include appliances, electronics, office equipment and many more. Smart appliances simply use less energy.

Check out Aros, a smart air conditioner, here:

Find energy savings tips and more information about ENERGY STAR here:

Do something called an "energy audit" to save money and energy in your home. You can hire a company (some even perform the audit remotely), but you can do it yourself too!

Department of Energy Resources:

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits

Professional HomeEnergy Audits.  Find an auditor and learn what to expect here:

Want to save on your energy bills? One of the best ways is to insulate your home. According to the Department of Energy, properly sealing off drafts can reduce your bills by 5-30%.

SOURCE, Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a handy finance mechanism that slashes the cost of making energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades, often to minimal or no upfront cost! Repayment plans running up to 20 years means the money you save every day helps repay for the cost of the upgrades over the long-term.

Use the financing to add solar panels, install efficient lighting, upgrade heating and cooling systems and more!

Learn more about PACE financing here – check out the ‘PACE in 90 Seconds’ video for an easy explanation.

Residential PACE

Is PACE available in your state? Click to find out:

Tap water or bottled water? Click here and you may never drink from a plastic water bottle again.
  1. It takes 1,000+ years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade.
  2. 17 million barrels of oil a year are used to make plastic bottles.
  3. 2.5 million plastic water bottles are thrown away HOURLY in the U.S.
  4. In 2006 it took 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water. It’s inherently unsustainable.
  5. According to NRDC testing, “there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap.”
  6. Only 31% of water bottles were recycled in 2012

Want to stop using plastic bottles? Easy. Drink tap water, use a water filter at home, then carry it in a reusable water bottle!

Calculate your carbon footprint with an online carbon calculator. Knowing what activities are your biggest sources of emissions helps you plan how to reduce your footprint.

Try these three carbon calculators:


UC Berkeley:

The Nature Conservancy

Become your own investor in solar energy, right now, with a crowdfunding effort, and then earn a return on that investment.

Discover more about Mosaic here. They can also help you put panels on your own home with their solar loan program!

Some other places to join solar crowdfunding:

Abundance Generation (UK)

Collective Sun

Support climate change research projects in need of money.

At, researchers post projects in need of money – like a University of Washington professor seeking to study fracking and air pollution – and then funders contribute.

Grist, Put your spare change to good use with crowdfunded science

Did you just take a flight from California to New York and are feeling guilty about all the CO2 it produced? Guess what? You can take away that guilt. Here's how.

If you want to really go green buy a “carbon offset,” which is way to invest in a carbon dioxide reduction project. That way, if you’ve just created a lot of CO2, you can “offset” it. Your money goes toward things like renewable energy, avoiding deforestation and efficiency projects. Go to or to offset a vacation, a wedding, or another event.



Here are some other places offering carbon offsets:

Carbon Footprint

COTAP (Carbon Offsets To Alleviate Poverty)

The Carbon Neutral Company

Eliminate your junk mail! Go here to find out how.

Take these steps to remove yourself from mailing lists:

Watch Years of Living Dangerously. And tell your friends, family and coworkers to watch too.

Years, Where To Watch

Click to learn 10 more things you can do every day!
  1. Unplug ‘vampire’ electronics that sap electricity while not being used. Power strips/surge protectors help cut down waste. You can save $50/yearly per laptop by shutting down at night and using power saving modes during the day
  2. Run your dishwasher only with a full load to save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.
  3. Keep tires adequately inflated to improve gas mileage by 3 percent, as well as save 250 pounds of CO2 and $840 annually.
  4. Adjust your thermostat 2 degrees down in winter and 2 degrees up in summer. It will save 2000 pounds of CO2 ($98) annually.
  5. Pay bills online. If everyone in the US did this, the estimated yearly savings would 2.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases, 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste and 18.5 million trees.
  6. Recycle newspapers. 69% of the 63 million newspapers printed daily U.S. will be thrown away. More than half a million trees would be saved weekly if just the Sunday papers were recycled.
  7. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Daily savings in U.S. could be up to 1.5 billion gallons.
  8. Cut down on using plastic bags, which are not biodegradable. 500 billion are used yearly worldwide.
  9. Use cruise control. It can improve gas mileage by up to 15%.
  10. Take a shorter shower. Every two minutes saves about 10 gallons of water.


Community Solutions

It may sound obvious, but powering your home with solar or wind is still one of the best ways to fight climate change. Click here to see how easy it's become to switch to renewables where you live.

Not sure who offers clean power in your area? The Department of Energy has a handy state-by-state database. Click yours to find out where to get clean energy!

Here are some great options for solar power. They even offer lease options, which slash upfront costs and make going solar easier.

Here’s one more way to buy clean power. These companies buy the equivalent amount of clean renewable energy as your energy demand, offsetting your use of non-renewables.

Power Past Coal works to stop companies from shipping 100 million tons of coal each year from exports terminals on the West Coast to places all over Asia. You can join the effort to keep the dirtiest fossil fuel in the ground.

Check out PPC’s great take action options locally, nationally, and globally at:

To learn more about this, watch Episode 5 — The Governor (Olivia Munn)

Are you a graduate student looking for a summer fellowship that helps fight climate change? Check out Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps program. It matches students with an eye for sustainability with companies, cities and universities looking to go greener.

Learn how to become a fellow or host a fellow here:

To learn more about this, watch Episode 7 — Climate Corps (Jessica Alba)

Do you agree that we need to put a #PriceOnCarbon? That's the sole mission of Citizens' Climate Lobby. Chapters around the country organize action campaigns to tell politicians to price carbon now.

Start or join a CCL chapter, write to your politicians and find out more ways to help price carbon here:

Join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Trained by Al Gore and equipped with an updated version of his iconic climate change slideshow featured in An Inconvenient Truth, nearly 6,000 lecturers deliver presentations around the world. It's a great way to help build the critical mass needed to tackle global climate change.

Apply to be a corps member here or see how else you can help!

Protest for climate justice., founded by Bill McKibben, is a grassroots movement that organizes around the world. Just two of 350's campaigns: continued Keystone XL resistance and a massive march in New York City in September.

Click “Get Involved” to see how you can help:

Greenpeace is one of the most successful direct action groups out there. From occupying oil drilling ships to protesting palm plantations in Indonesia, Greenpeace fights for environmental justice all over the world with headline-worthy campaigns. Click through to get involved.

After being targeted by Greenpeace, Sinar Mas and Unilever – two major players in the palm oil market – announced they’d become more sustainable. Watch YEARS to find out more!
Get involved with Greenpeace here:

To learn more about this, watch Episode 2 – Last Stand (Harrison Ford), Episode 4 — Under The Ice (Lesley Stahl), Episode 6 — Against The Wind (America Ferrera – their Koch report is featured)


Greenpeace, Palm Oil Giant Announces Plan to Stop Forest Destruction

RTCC, Unilever to source 100% sustainable palm oil by 2014

Protect endangered animals and habitats with the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. Both groups are active all over the world and offer many ways to join the fight.

WWF, How To Help

Conservation International, Get Involved

To learn more about this, watch Episodes 1 & 2 — Last Stand (Harrison Ford

Your vote and your voice matter. Use them to support candidates with strong views on combating climate change. Check the League of Conservation Voters' environmental scorecard page and then contact the politicians via the Years of Living Dangerously website.

Click to see how green your representative in Washington is:
League of Conservation Voters, National Environmental Scorecard

ThinkProgress has a great state-by-state guide showing what your governor believes about climate change.
ThinkProgress, The Climate Guide To Governors

Years Representative Finder

To learn more about this, watch Episode 5 — The Governor (Olivia Munn)

Tell Fox News to cover climate change more accurately and the EPA to adopt strong greenhouse gas regulations! Click through to see how you can take action on this with the help of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Click to connect with the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Who in Congress stills denies that climate change is real, human caused, and dangerous? Organizing For Action identifies the climate deniers state-by-state. And then you can "Call Them Out."

Call out the climate change deniers here:

Demand stronger regulations from the EPA with the National Resources Defense Council. Limiting carbon pollution, protecting our water and saving American bees are just three of their take action campaigns.

Take action with the NRDC here:

Did you know that about 40% of food produced in the U.S. is thrown away? Making all this wasted food produces more greenhouse gases than is emitted by every country except the U.S. or China, so don't throw it away! Get involved in a food collection or distribution program.

City Harvest (NYC) fights hunger and waste by collecting 46 billion pounds of excess foods and donating to 500 programs around the city. Learn more and sign up to volunteer here:

Philabundance (Delaware Valley)
The Delaware Valley’s largest food recovery program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In 2013 they collected and distributed 30 million pounds, helping 72,000 people a week.

Join a tree planting initiative. Every tree you plant will soak up carbon dioxide and cool the area by providing shade.

Million Trees NYC is closing in on the 900,000 mark! Get involved here:

The Nature Conservancy wants to plant a billion trees worldwide by 2025. Find out more here:

Here are more tree-planting initiatives:
Million Trees LA
PA/NJ/DE – Million Trees

Get your school or company to divest from fossil fuels. Many schools and companies are already doing it! Check out for the latest campaigns, updates and educational resources.

In May, Stanford University announced they will divest their $18.7 billion endowment. It’s the largest divestment commitment to date!

The World Council of Churches, which represents more than half a billion Christians worldwide, announced in July they’ll no longer invest in fossil fuels. The reason? They said the investments weren’t ethical.

ThinkProgress, Group Representing Half A Billion Christians Says It Will No Longer Support Fossil Fuels

Attend the People's Climate March on September 21st, 2014 in New York City. It's almost certain to be the largest climate march in history and takes place as world leaders meet at the United Nations to prepare for upcoming climate negotiations.

Learn more about the march here:
People’s Climate March

MUST READ: Bill McKibben’s inspiring invitation to the march:
Rolling Stone, A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change 

Buy food grown locally. Locally-grown food requires less transportation (and therefore less CO2) to bring to market. Both farmers and consumers win in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Click through to find one to join!

Local Harvest has lots of great information about CSA programs and can help you find one close by:

Paint your roof white! Making your roof white does all sorts of amazing things, like reducing the temperature inside (by as much as 30%), lowering cooling costs and dropping CO2 emissions. One DOE study found that white roofing has the potential to offset the emissions of roughly 300 million cars in 20 years.

In New York City, volunteers are nearing their goal of coating 6 million square feet of city rooftops! Every 1,000 square feet they paint cuts the city’s carbon footprint by 1 ton of CO2.

NYC Cool Roofs

Last December, Los Angeles became the first city requiring all new and refurbished homes to have cool roofs.
ThinkProgress, Los Angeles Becomes First Major City To Require ‘Cool Roofs’

More cool roof initiatives:
Cool Roofing in Pittsburgh

Cool California – local roofing initiatives

Check out Episode 8 — Mercury Rising (Matt Damon) for more information on Los Angeles’ heat problems.

Start or participate in a local "Solarize" initiatives, which have spread rapidly across the U.S. They're grassroots efforts that make going solar more affordable through collective purchasing with your neighbors.

In four years, Solarize Mass has helped more than 900 residents and businesses sign contracts to begin producing their own solar power.

Solarize Mass

Here are more Solarize initiatives:

Business Solutions

Microsoft, Google and Kohl's have pledged to become "carbon neutral," which means they won't contribute emissions causing more climate change! Click here to learn more.

Google has invested more than $1 billion in solar and wind projects, measures deforestation using Google Earth/Maps and teams with EDF to track natural gas leaks from fracking!

Google Green

Microsoft has an internal carbon fee, invests in wind energy and discloses its emissions. See the ‘carbon fee guide!’ to learn how Microsoft put a price on carbon.

Microsoft Environment

Kohl’s gets 100% of its power from clean energy sources – there are solar panels on more than 150 stores! – and works with ENERGY STAR to improve efficiency.



$1 billion source

Forest monitoring source
—- To learn more about this, watch Episodes 1 & 2 — Last Stand (Harrison Ford

EDF/Google source

Can you believe big companies like Whole Foods, Intel and Staples are 100% powered by clean, renewable energy? Your business could do the same. Click to find out how and see other 100% green power users.

Make your energy greener by installing solar panels and wind turbines, buying energy from a clean source or purchasing renewable energy credits.

Check out more companies, cities, government agencies and universities that are doing the same!

Companies like Microsoft and Disney are now voluntarily factoring in a price on carbon into their longterm business strategies. Doing so guides them toward greener decisions and ensures they'll be ready to handle any future government emissions regulations. In short, it's just smart business.

Check out all these companies that are putting a price on carbon:

Join Nike, Disney and other major companies in signing the CERES Climate Declaration, which states: “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century -- and it’s simply the right thing to do.” It's a powerful statement for your company to make.

Sign as a company or as an individual here:

Dell, PepsiCo and Walmart all report their emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project, and your business should too. Making that information public shows that your business is ready to address the biggest challenge of our time.

Dell, Pepsi and Walmart are just three of the more than a thousand companies working with CDP.

Southwestern Energy -- the fifth largest natural gas producer in the U.S. -- is one of a growing number of companies doing "green completions" at wells. It means capturing methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, and other emissions and then selling them, increasing profit and helping the environment at the same time!

According to Southwestern Energy executive Mark Boling, the company now captures an average of 16 million cubic feet of gas from each well to sell. In his words, green completing “pays for itself.”

Southwestern Energy, Air

To learn more about this, watch Episode 6 — Chasing Methane (Mark Bittman)

Host a fellow from the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps if you're looking to save your business serious money and energy. The program matches graduate students focused on energy efficiency with companies looking to improve sustainability.

Learn how to host a fellow here:

YEARS Web Feature:

An Honest Evaluation
Jessica Alba gives the Climate Corps fellows a tour of the Honest Company. They tell her how the company could be even more environmentally friendly.

To learn more about this, watch Episode 7 — Climate Corps (Jessica Alba)

Did you just throw a big event for your business? Do your employees need to fly frequently? Buying carbon offsets, which invest in a carbon dioxide reduction projects, can actually "un-do" CO2-intensive activities. Your money goes toward things like renewable energy, avoiding deforestation and efficiency projects. Click to find out more.

Check out these places to buy carbon offsets:



Carbon Footprint

COTAP (Carbon Offsets To Alleviate Poverty)

The Carbon Neutral Company

See how committed your company is to fighting climate change -- and aim to improve those efforts -- with the Climate Counts Company Scorecard. The annually published report tracks and grades companies on their efforts to be sustainable.

See how companies stack up across categories like airlines, apparel, hotels and more:

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a handy finance mechanism that slashes the cost of making energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades, often to minimal or no upfront cost! Repayment plans running up to 20 years means the money you save every day helps repay for the cost of the upgrades over the long-term.

Use the financing to add solar panels, install efficient lighting, upgrade heating and cooling systems and more!

Learn more about PACE financing here – check out the ‘PACE in 90 Seconds’ video.

Commercial PACE:

Is PACE available in your state? Click to find out:

Here are some more great businesses to check out. Click through for more information.
  1. Recyclebank gives users rewards for everyday sustainable behavior. Things like recycling at home, volunteering in your community and playing “green games” online earns points redeemable for food, clothes and magazines from more than 4,000 national and local businesses. More than 4.5 million members-strong, Recyclebank has helped sustainably dispose of nearly 4 billions pounds of waste since being founded in 2004.
  2. Become your own investor in solar energy with a crowdfunding effort like Mosaic, and then earn a return on that investment.
  3. With Gridbid, homeowners put their roof up for auction for use by solar-installation companies. After filling out a short form detailing your roof’s specifics the company will estimate your monthly savings. Then, local installers bid on the rights and you pick the winner!
  4. At researchers post projects in need of money, like a University of Washington professor seeking to study fracking and air pollution, and then funders contribute.
  5. Companies like OPower and Simple Energy use behavioral science to help customers use less energy. They create competition among neighbors to cut their use, provide suggestions for how to do so and rewards when you do.OPower
    Simple Energy

Starbucks and Levi Strauss are two more companies leading the fight against climate change. Click through to find out how!
  1.  Starbucks aims to be powered 100% by renewables by 2015, partners with Conservation International to conserve forests in coffee-growing regions and tracks its GHG emissions. Starbucks, Climate Change
  2. Levi Strauss makes “water<less” jeans with up to 96% less H2O, saving an estimated 172 million gallons of water so far. The company seeks to cut GHG emissions 25% and use 20% renewable power by 2020, and it also publishes environmental analyses of common products.Water<Less: plans: Analyses:

Want to save energy in your office? Find out five easy ways right here.
  1. Make sure your office equipment has the ENERGY STAR label, meaning it has been designated by the Department of Energy as especially efficient.
  2. Turn electronics off at the end of the day. Hint: use a power strip to make this easier.
  3. Adjust the temperature when the office isn’t in use because there’s no need to air condition an empty room. A smart thermostat like Nest can make the adjustments for you.
  4. Install motion-activated lighting. They’ll shut off when the room is empty, cutting wasted electricity.
  5. Reduce your paper use. Print double sided and email documents when possible.

Government Solutions - Town/City/State/Country

Which county has reduced deforestation so much that a recent study named them the county doing the MOST to stop climate change? Click to find out.

By lowering deforestation a massive 70% since 2004, Brazil has kept more than 3 billion tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. In 2011, 88% of electricity produced in Brazil came from renewables, much of that from hydropower. Brazil is one country moving toward a more sustainable future.

ThinkProgress, Brazil Has Done More To Stop Climate Change Than Any Other Country, Study Finds 

To learn more about deforestation, watch Episodes 1 and 2 — Last Stand (Harrison Ford)


Clean Technica, 88.8% of Brazilian Electricity in 2011 from Renewable Sources

How did British Columbia cut fuel use by 16% and grow their GDP faster than the rest of Canada? They put a price on carbon. Click for more details.

In 2008 British Columbia began its revenue neutral tax on carbon emissions and most fuel use. Since then, the tax has brought in $4 billion!

Learn more about BC’s carbon tax here:

Grist, Here’s why B.C.’s carbon tax is super popular — and effective

More than half of Denmark's electricity needs came from wind energy in December 2013, and this is just the beginning. The county aims to be completely powered by renewables by 2050. Click through to find out more.

How is Denmark pulling this off? In part, collective action. The country’s Public Service Obligation tariff, paid by every citizen as part of their energy bill, helps finance this great clean energy shift.

Learn more about Denmark’s energy success here:
Denmark, Wind Energy

Wind Power Monthly, Wind provides more than half of Denmark’s power for first time

CBC, Climate change: 4 countries that are fighting the trend

The EU proves that cap-and-trade DOES work! The European Union's Emissions Trading System is the biggest cap-and-trade market in the world (covering 31 countries and more than 11,000 power stations). They'll be cutting emissions 20% by 2020, and have proposed a 40% cut by 2030. Emissions are down since the system's launch in 2005.

How are they doing this? By putting a price on carbon, increasing the use of clean energy and focusing on energy efficiency. Learn more about the EU ETS here:


These nine states here in America are doing everything they can to fight climate change. Click here to see how they cut CO2 emissions 23% in just three years using cap-and-trade, and tell one governor it's time to re-join the effort.

These states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — formed something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative [RGGI] in 2003 because there wasn’t enough movement in Washington. You can learn all about them by going to the RGGI website:

You can also take action and tell Governor Christie to put New Jersey back into RGGI (he dropped out in 2011. Join Environment New Jersey to do it:

Check out Episode 5 — Christie and the Storm (Mark Bittman) for more information.

China decides it's time to put a #PriceOnCarbon. Seven Chinese cities and provinces -- including giants like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong -- recently created the second largest carbon pricing market in the world! And they have plans to go bigger.

Learn more about the Chinese Emissions Trading System:

The entire country of Germany has a new goal: be 80% powered by renewables by 2050. On a recent sunny Sunday in May they showed they could, getting 74% of their power from clean energy. Per capita, Germany's emissions have dropped more than a quarter between 1990 and 2010.

From 1991 to 2012 Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions are down 22% and their GDP is up 28%.

Learn more about the Germany energy transition, called the Energiewende, here:


75% Source:

Per capita source:

New York is putting a billion dollars into their new Green Bank to help fight climate change. Green banks help pay for clean energy and efficiency upgrades by providing long-term financing options like low-interest loans. This makes projects with longer payback horizons more affordable and realistic to pursue. Click through to find out more about New York's and to connect with a group working to create more green banks.

Learn more New York’s effort here:
NY Green Bank

The Coalition for Green Capital works to establish state, national and international green banks. Connect here:

Which American city recycles the most and wants to be "zero-waste" by the end of the decade? Click to find out. By creating strict city recycling programs cities avoid filling landfills, a huge source of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

San Francisco, which wants to be zero-waste by 2020, is a GREAT model. By mandating recycling and composting, the city now diverts 80% of its waste from reaching landfills, good for the best recycling rate in the U.S.! The city also collects more compost material than any other program in America. They’ve even banned the sale of plastic water bottles on city property.

Click to learn more about SF’s impressive recycling:
SF Environment, Zero Waste

City Climate Leadership Awards, San Francisco: Zero Waste Program


Triple Pundit, San Francisco Achieves Highest Recycling Rate in U.S.

MSNBC, San Francisco bans sale of plastic water bottles on city property

Eight U.S. states are working together to make owning an electric vehicle easier. In 2013, California, New York, Connecticut and five others announced measures to add more charging stations, simplify building codes to make powering at home easier and expand incentives for EV drivers. The overall goal? 3.3 million emission-free vehicles sold by 2025.


NYTimes, 8 States Teaming Up to Support Electric Cars

Four U.S. states and a Canadian province aren't letting the lack of international climate change policy stop them from going greener. Discover how they're transcending borders and helping the planet together.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative aligns energy policies and links markets in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia – a group that, when added, would be the world’s 5th biggest economy. They’ll focus on pricing carbon, low-carbon travel and promoting clean energy/energy efficiency.

ThinkProgress, California, Oregon, Washington, And British Columbia Agree To Cooperate On Reducing Carbon Pollution

The Department of Energy has bold plans for solar energy: make it cost-competitive by 2020 and 27% of the U.S. electricity supply by 2050. Through their SunShot Initiative they'll improve technology, support research and finance solar projects. Government programs like these help level the playing field for the clean, renewable energy we need to adopt at mass scale.
Click to find out more about the SunShot Initiative:

California is pricing carbon too, and one year in it's so successful they're expanding across the border! They kicked off cap-and-trade in 2013, raised $1.4 billion in year one, and linked up with Quebec's carbon pricing scheme on January 1st.

Learn more here:
California EPA, Cap-and-Trade Program


Renew Economy, California cap-and-trade expanding in 2014 after successful 2013

What helped Missouri increase solar installations by more than 7600% in 3 years and Kansas generate more than 12,000 clean energy jobs? Renewable Portfolio Standards. They set the percentage of clean renewables in a state's energy portfolio and they're a great way to increase clean energy generation. More than half of U.S. states have RPS laws. Click through to find out more!

NRDC, State Renewable Portfolio Standards Create Jobs and Promote Clean Energy

Click to learn more about RPS standards:
EPA, Renewable Portfolio Standards

Click here for a map of the U.S. showing all the states with RPS standards information!

To learn more about this, watch Episode 6 — Against The Wind (America Ferrera)


Math for 7600% figure:
As a result, Missouri solar installations have increased from 101 kW in 2009 (before the Standard’s existence) to more than 7.8 MW in 2012.

1MW = 1000kW
7.8 MW = 7800 kW

Percent change calculator:
101 kW to 7800 kW
y1 =101
y2 = 7800
percent change:

Increase minimum energy performance standards. The Obama administration has done it for microwaves, dishwashers, air conditioners and other products. All in all, it's estimated to save consumers billions of dollars.

SOURCES, New Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential Clothes Washers and Dishwashers to Save Consumers Billions on Energy Bills

Midwest Energy News, Studies: Efficiency still the cheapest energy resource

Did you know that transportation is the second-biggest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions? Increasing fuel efficiency standards is a great way to improve this sector, and in 2012 the U.S. did just that. The Obama administration estimates Americans will reduce oil consumption by 12 billion barrels over the program's life.


NYTimes, U.S. Sets Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards

ENERGY STAR, designed by the EPA, helps consumers identify products that are 10-to-50% more efficient. Categories include appliances, electronics, office equipment and many more. Government programs like ENERGY STAR make it simple for consumers to make environmentally friendly purchases.

Find efficient appliances, energy savings tips and more information about ENERGY STAR here:

Click through to learn about five legislative efforts that encourage renewable power and energy efficiency.
  1. Shaheen-Portman, a bipartisan energy efficiency bill which stalled in the Senate in May, would have mandated increased efficiency in buildings of all kinds. The senators plan to reintroduce similar legislation. ThinkProgress, Bipartisan Bill That Would Have Strengthened U.S. Energy Efficiency Dies In Senate
  2. Extend the Federal Production Tax Credit. It lead to an explosion of wind installations while in effect and helped lower electricity rates, but it was allowed to expire at the end of 2013. Here’s more from the American Wind Energy Association about the tax credit’s importance: See the “Does policy still matter”? chart on page 5. It does a great job explaining how important the PTC is.
  3. Mandate solar power like Lancaster, California, where all new homes must produce energy using the sun. “Clean Technica, Lancaster Home Solar Mandate — 1st In US (& World?) — Leads City Into 2014″
  4. Protect net metering, which allows residents or businesses to be compensated for excess renewable energy they generate and then ‘sell’ back to the grid.
  5. Expand solar availability to those without suitable roofs
    Passed legislation in D.C. and California allows those without a qualifying roof to still buy clean energy and save money. In California, customers of the state’s three largest utilities can buy up to 100% clean energy produced by renewable projects. In DC, customers invest in clean energy projects elsewhere, then savings are deducted from their utility bill. 

Cities can make going solar easier for their residents -- just look at Chicago. In 2013, Chicago streamlined its solar installation process. City officials say reforms will cut fees 25% and wait times by 30 days, leading to more panels installed.

Learn more here:
Chicago Solar Express

Chicago Tribune, Chicago to make it faster, cheaper to add solar power

Want to know where your country stacks up on tackling climate change? The Climate Change Performance Index ranks top emitters based on their greenhouse gases, policies and energy portfolios. Click through to find yours!

2014 Climate Change Performance Index