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Catastrophic Climate Change: Cutting Your GHG Emissions in April.


The objective of the monthly tips pages is to provide ideas, experience and inspiration on how individuals can make changes to reduce their own climate change impaact, and also collaborate to foster positive change. This has been built up over a few years, so some items are dated, but many are just intended to be of value year after year and particularly for those who discover this site after 2010.

We have met the enemy and he is us.
- Pogo (Walt Kelly for Earth Day 1970)

April 1st

It's April Fool's day, and the first day of the new fiscal year for many governments and agencies. Sadly, too many of them are still thinking about talking about planning to do something constructive, some day. But until then, they'll keep spending based on lowest price procurement, which typically means using subsidized fossil fuels for energy, buying products from low wage countries while their own citizens are unemployed or underemployed, and creating ever more GHG emissions shipping things half-way around the world.

If you can, encourage such taxpayer-funded organizations to implement purchasing policies which take our future into account, allowing them to spend a small premium on supply chains which are GHG-free or low-GHG emissions, and encourage employment within the city, province (state) or country which pays for their operations.

April 2nd

April 3rd

(2019)Contributions will be lighter this month, as I'm writing a couple of papers to present at CIRSIP at the end of May.

April 4th

Do you own a sewing machine? If not, consider haunting the local thrift stores to find a basic machine in good working order (straight and zig-zag stitches, forward and reverse. This will keep such a machine out of landfill, and possibly eliminate the need for another to be built.

April 5th

With the machine you can make your own reusable bags from cheap or surplus fabric. You can get creative and make convenient storage containers. Really simple fabric items which aren't difficult to make.

April 6th

Having a sewing machine makes a lot clothing repairs easier, like when a seam comes undone, or a patch would give a new life to a piece of clothing. Why risk a nice new jacket when doing a dirty chore outside, when a repaired item can stand in for it saving the nice item for dressier occasions?

April 7th

Did you know that clothing is a major waste disposal issue in the industrialized world? We simply don't have enough uses for these items once their out of fashion, which means a lot of really good fabric is going to waste. By all means, if you have items which can see a new life with someone else, donate these items to a thrift store. But what happens to the items which the thrift store doesn't think they can sell? Those typically get baled and shipped offshore for possible reuse, but mostly for disposal. If you have a project which can use smaller pieces of fabric, and where a variety of colours is possibly beneficial or at least not a problem, why not visit a local thrift store and see if they will let you go through their discards and sell you what you pick out at a very discounted price (like a dollar a kg). Saves them having to bale it and remove it, and they make a dollar instead. Then, take it home, cut it into the sizes and shapes you need, and make something new from fabric which is essentially free.

April 8th

If you get good with the sewing machine, and have a little ambition, you can make patchwork quilts. Small ones make great lap quilts. You can also make small blankets for pets, cancer patients (see Victoria's Quilts), or others in need. Perhaps local shelters for animals or people would be interested in what you can produce.

April 9th

You can even make insulated window coverings to help keep heat in (or out)

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April 4th

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April 21st

April 22nd

April 23rd

The daylight hours are definitely getting longer, and the energy of the sun is making its presence felt. Ever thought about harvesting that energy to cook some of your food? The Heaven's Flame solar cooker is simple to make, uses inexpensive materials and is fun to learn with on the subject. You can learn more about this simple box cooker here: https://solarcooking.fandom.com/wiki/Heaven%27s_Flame.

April 24th

Still deciding what to plant in your garden, however small? How about giving a thought to pollinators like honeybees. Given colony collapse disorder which is likely related to the widespread use of neonics, how about growing some plants which are bee-friendly? Here's a starting point: Bee Friendly

April 25th

(2019)Took the chance today to rake up some leaves. Discoverered some are still embedded in ice. Spring may be a few more days before showing up to melt the remaining ice. But given the amount of snow we had this year, gradual warming is desirable.

April 26th

(2019)I'm taking a few days away from the usual thread because a lot of people are dealing with flooding, one of the early consequences of climate change.

April 27th

If you are not dealing with flooding issues personally, or pitching in to help, take the next few days to contemplate how you would deal with flooding where you live. Do you really understand the risks you may be facing? At a minimum, is your home emergency kit (3 days minimum supplies) stocked and ready?

Do you live in a city, taking your domestic water from a central supply and flushing your human waste down a toilet or drain? How do you cope if that stops functioning? This isn't a simple rhetorical question. Most cities in Canada sit on the shore of a river, lake or ocean. With flooding, are the water intakes at risk? The water filtration plants? What about their power supply or supply roads? Do they have emergency power as a backup? How long can that run if fuel cannot be resupplied?

April 28th

If you aren't on a municipal water supply, do you rely on a well? Will it still be safe if flooding washes sewage waste over the well or the ground around it? If you have a septic tank, will it remain buried if covered with flood waters, even if it is mostly full of air after a pump-out? If your well uses a pump to bring water to your house (and a cohort of sump and water pumps) and the electricity is cut off, how long can you power it before you run out of fuel? If your house is cut off by flood water, how will you get more fuel?

April 29th

If you are truly in a situation immune to flooding, contemplate one of the other climate emergency issues you could be facing, and how you would deal with that.

April 30th

It's tax day in Canada, so you might be focused on something else than saving the world, or at least your part of it, today. (As I used to put in my email signature block: It's your planet. If you won't look after it, who will?

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