Vermont Interfaith Power and Light

A faith-based response to global climate change

Ten Things Vermonters Can Do To Stop Global Warming (And Save Money)


Electricity use

1. Shine Your Light—with compact florescent bulbs!

• Cedit yourself with 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide savings per year for each incandescent            light bulb you replace with a compact florescent. It will save you money too.

2. Shoot for the Stars – Energy Stars, that is!

• When you replace an appliance always look for the Energy Star label, certified by the      EPA as energy-efficient, which means lower carbon dioxide emissions. Use        a thermometer to set your fridge at 38° and your freezer at 5°. Your refrigerator accounts    for 40% of your household electrical energy use!

3. Save Hot Water

• Your water heater accounts for 20% of the energy used in your household. Turn it to    “off” or “pilot” when going on a trip.

• Set your water heater at 120°. This will save fuel and 150 lbs. carbon dioxide per year.

• Wash your clothes in cold water—it gets them just as clean—and hang them out to dry      on a clothesline or on drying racks. Save big time!

4. Buy Green Power – Ask Your Utility to Keep Your Power Clean.

• Contact Green Mountain Power or Central Vermont Public Service to find out how you    can purchase clean, “green energy” or buy Green Power Renewable Energy Certificates    from CarbonFund ( or Native Energy ( or    Bonneville Environmental Foundation (


5. Most Vermonters Have to Drive – So Drive Cool!

• Consider switching to a hybrid vehicle—like a Prius or Honda Civic Hybrid. This could    save you 50% or more on fuel and carbon dioxide.

• Consolidate errands, carpool, bike, or use public transportation or the bike-and-bus    relay.

• Keep your car tuned-up and check your tire pressure for up to 5% savings.

6. Go Carbon-Neutral to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Business Trips and      Vacations.

• When you need or want to travel, purchase carbon credits—investments in solar, wind    and other non-fossil-fuel energy-- to offset your air miles. Visit or to make your travel carbon neutral. For example, a four to five    day trip, traveling 2,000 miles round-trip and staying in a hotel will produce about one    ton of carbon dioxide. This can be offset at CarbonFund for about $6.00.

7. Buy Local and Eat Less Meat to Save on Energy and Transportation Costs

• Enjoy three seasons of fresh produce from Vermont farmers’ markets, Community    Supported Agriculture (CSAs), Community Gardens and natural food stores in your    area.

• Buy organic: no fossil-fuel-based fertilizers.

• On average, it takes nearly ten times more energy (and thus ten times the carbon dioxide    emissions) to produce meat than to produce vegetables.


8. Trash the Trash Can and Junk the Junk!

• Compost food waste to reduce garbage that must be carted away in trucks.

• Buy food in bulk, bring your own bags to the grocery store, and try to avoid products    that use lots of packaging--it will end up in your trash.

• Stop the junk mail coming into your life. For only $1 you can sign up at the Mail    Preferences Service online: .

• Use those handy recycle bins and RECYCLE.

Home Heating and Cooling

9. Hot? Beat the Heat – Head for the Shade!

• Vermont summers are getting hotter. Plant trees around your house. They provide    natural shade and increase uptake of carbon dioxide. Use light-blocking shades and    install awnings on your windows. If you buy an air-conditioner, make sure it’s an    Energy Star appliance, and before you do, remember they aren’t the only answer!    Ceiling fans use a LOT less energy. If you do use an air conditioner, set it at 78°.

10. Cold? Plug Your Energy Leaks and Wear Extra Layers.

• An audit by your heat utility or Efficiency Vermont will show you how worthwhile it is to    insulate and to seal windows, doors, and hatches.

• Make sure you have a thermostat or an indoor thermometer, and set it between 65-68°    during the day when people are home, and 55-58° at night. Tune up your furnace or    heater every fall.

Contact Vermont Interfaith Power and Light (VTIPL) for more ideas on what individuals and congregations can do to save energy. VTIPL recommends the workbook called “Low Carbon Diet: A 30-Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds,” from The Empowerment Institute, as an effective path for members of congregations to significantly reduce their daily emissions of carbon dioxide. The workbook provides a step-by-step plan for “eco-teams,” each with 5-8 households, to support each other as they work through a series of action-steps in energy-use areas at home and on the road. To receive a sample workbook or for more information, send an email to VTIPL (

Vermont Interfaith Power & Light

P.O. Box 209

Richmond, VT 05477

Email: Tel. 802-434-3397 Website: 

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