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Climate SMART: Be cool - reduce global warming & climate risks


Diesel cars produce somewhat less greenhouse gas than gasoline fuelled cars, but most diesel cars generally emit far more particulate matter (PM), a component of smog. In these cases, rather than reducing GHGs at the expense of air quality, other creative energy efficient solutions need to be pursued. For example, using a more fuel efficient gasoline powered car or hybrid vehicle, or adding insulation in a home would meet both climate change and air quality objectives.

Consumer, Community, and Commercial Direct Action to Reduce the Impacts of Global Warming

In concrete terms, everyone can do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the impacts of global warming and climate change, while helping to improve our air quality. The following solutions to reduce air pollution, also have the added advantage of saving money on fuel and electricity costs:

In Your Home

  1. Help to maintain comfortable home temperatures with appropriate use of window blinds and ceiling fans, to reduce central heating or air conditioning requirements.
  2. Lower thermostat settings, either automatically or manually, when no one is home & at night.
  3. Keep your oil or gas furnace properly tuned. A well-maintained unit uses 10 to 15 percent less energy. Consider replacing an old furnace with a high-efficiency model.
  4. When shopping for new appliances, compare EnerGuide consumption rates and choose the one that is most efficient. Even if it's more expensive initially, it will cost less in the long run.
  5. USE energy-efficient lighting. Fluorescent bulbs for use in standard incandescent sockets are now available, are more than four times as efficient, and last eight to fifteen times longer than the equivalent incandescent bulb.
  6. Do not leave lights and appliances turned on unnecessarily.
  7. When shopping for a new home, keep energy efficiency in mind. What are the levels of insulation? How efficient is the heating system? Are the windows the best available for reducing heat loss?
  8. Many models of gasoline-powered lawn mowers and all-terrain vehicles are inefficient and are large sources of air pollution with respect to their size. Look for low-emission engines, or human-powered lawn mowers. Kayaks (vs. outboard motors) and snow shoveling (vs. snow blowers) will do you and the environment a big favour.

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In Your Car

HRM has embarked on an ambitious campaign to engage environmentally responsible residents and businesses to reduce car idling, to reduce energy consumption and improve our air quality and public health.

If every driver of a light-duty vehicle in Halifax avoided idling for five minutes a day, the city could prevent more than 16 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each day, or enough CO2 to fill 998 gymnasiums.

What Can We Do?

  • Idling your car engine burns gas unnecessarily. Turn it off, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Always driving within the speed limits increases an automobile’s mileage.
  • Try car-pooling or public transit as a way to reduce vehicle use.
  • Where possible, try walking, biking or in-line skating rather than taking your car.
  • Always keep your tires properly inflated, and keep your car tuned up.
  • When choosing a new vehicle, make fuel efficiency a part of your choice

Global Warming Calculators:

Natural Resources Canada The CO2 Calculator

Anti-Idling Toolkit

Government of Canada One Tonne Challenge CO2 Calculator

The Carbon Calculator
for Air Travel/Car & Home

Take the One-Tonne Challenge! Federal site includes Greenhouse Gas Calculator & climate change videos & games