TCAT’s greenhouse gas inventory for Thurston County (PDF) shows that the two largest sources of carbon pollution in our county are energy used in our buildings (53%) and transportation (44%). These are the two most important areas to work on to reduce our contributions to global warming.

Download our PDF guide What YOU Can Do To Help Slow Climate Change.

Daily Efficiency

  • Drive less: Bike, walk, take mass transit, carpool, switch to a car with better mileage, fly less.
  • Reduce hot water use: Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees. Also, properly insulate your hot water heater.
  • Recycle: Organize and keep recycling receptacles in a convenient place. Learn when, how, and what your community recycles (paper, cardboard, glass, metal, plastic containers, etc.).
  • Reuse: Buy used products when possible and replace disposable products with reusable ones.
  • Food consumption: Food accounts for a sizable portion of our emissions (14%). To make cuts here, your best option is to reduce consumption of meat, especially beef. A pound of beef is responsible for some EIGHTEEN TIMES the emissions of a pound of pasta.
  • Eat locally: Eat locally grown food to save energy from long-distance transportation. Transportation is about 4% of food emissions.
  • Shop smart: From tangible items like clothes and furniture to services like haircuts and healthcare—accounts for the remainder of our personal emissions (26%). These purchases are spread across so many categories it is hard to get significant reductions from a single choice. That said, simply buying less stuff or purchasing recycled or reclaimed items can significantly trim your personal emissions.

Home Efficiency

  • Weather proof: Improve insulation for your windows, walls, basements, crawl space and attic.
  • Heating and cooling: Upgrade your furnace or air conditioners to highly efficient models. Seal air leaks, because leaks in the average home may waste 15–25% of heat in winter and the same amount of unwanted heat gain in our homes in summer (17% of national GHG emissions).
  • Conserve power: Turn off lights, run only full clothes and dish washer loads.
  • Replace light bulbs: Use compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diodes (LED).
  • Start a compost pile: Put less in the landfill by starting a small compost pile in your back yard.