Take the ‘Maine global warming challenge’

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AUGUSTA – Happy Earth Day.

Celebrate the Earth by considering how much personal global warming pollution you make, and how you can cut.

On Friday, the Natural Resources Council of Maine launched a “Maine Global Warming Challenge” asking Mainers to collectively cut 600,000 pounds of global warming pollution by Earth Day, 2007.

It’s not hard, according to Brownie Carson of the NRCM. Just log onto their Web site (www.maineenvironment.org) and pick what action they will take.

On the Web site each action item shows how much pollution an individual can cut. Mainers are asked to e-mail their pollution reduction pledges to: takeaction@nrcm.org. The organization offers a variety of ways to cut pollution.

For instance, replacing an old appliance with a new, energy-efficient one would reduce 220 pounds of carbon pollution a year.

Other options:

• Turn down the home thermostat by 1 degree. Global warming pollution reduction: 250 pounds a year.

• Wash clothes in cold water. Pollution reduction: 327 pounds.

• Dry clothes on the line during warm months. Pollution reduction: 779 pounds.

• Recycle 25 percent of household waste. Pollution reduction: 850 pounds.

• Drive a more efficient vehicle. Pollution reduction: 1,450 pounds for every 5 mpg saved.

• And one fathers everywhere preach: turn off the lights when you leave the room. Pollution reduction: 376 pounds of pollution.

By doing things like drying clothes on the line, turning off lights and using less gasoline, individual Mainers can save money and easily cut 1,500 pounds of global warming pollution a year. That’s about 4 percent of typical energy use.

The NRCM will keep a running tally of participant pledges. According to the NRCM, all participants will be entered in a raffle for prizes.

– Bonnie Washuk

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