The City of Boulder has a decision to make.  Either the City Council will vote to spend (and raise) a bunch of money to try to fufill the terms of the Kyoto Protocoll or they will need to let the deadline pass without reaching its goals.  Right now the City is on track to get only half way to Kyoto’s goal of reducing carbon emissions to a level 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.   

In 2006 Boulder’s voters passed the Climate Action Plan Tax giving the City the right to tax its citizens on electricity usage among other things.  So far the City is taxing electricity at the lowest level, this might change.  Even if the City increases the tax and the budget by over $400,000 we would be on track to get 85% toward the goal.

It doesn’t look like we will make it and I don’t think that is the end of the world.  I think the G8 will still visit the Dushanbe Teahouse if they happen to be in town.  So, it might just be up to us to make up the difference and I am here to give you the top 13 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Turn your thermostat down.  To 68 or below in the winter and 78 or below in the summer.
  2. Purchase and use a programmable thermostat.  Don’t heat your house when you are not there.
  3. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  4. Take a shower instead of a bath.
  5. Drive less often, combine trips and carpool.
  6. Walk or ride your bicycle.
  7. Add insulation to your home.
  8. Install energy efficient doors and windows.
  9. Turn off your computer when you are not using it.
  10. Turn down the temperature setting on your water heater.
  11. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  12. Let your dishes air dry – heated settings use a tremendous amount of energy.
  13. Purchase energy efficient appliances.  Look for energy star rated appliances.
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