Online Pledge Helps Consumers Shrink Carbon Footprint

In cooperation with the city of Bellevue, Washington state agencies have developed a new online pledge to help residents take individual actions against climate change.

In a fun, easy-to-use format, the new "Shrink Your Carbon Footprint" online pledge helps people identify what they're already doing and what more they can do to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Anyone can take the carbon footprint pledge, accessible from the Washington state climate change web portal: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/forms/carbonfootprint_pledge.html.

"The problem of climate change is global, and the solutions are very complex. It will take all of us doing our part – through individual actions, societal actions, and governmental actions -- to turn back the clock on the climate-changing greenhouse gas pollution," said Janice Adair, Washington Department of Ecology manager who chairs the Western Climate Initiative, a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

In Washington state, transportation accounts for almost half the state's total carbon footprint. The next largest contributor is burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) for residential, commercial, and industrial use.

Although most of Washington's electricity comes from carbon-clean hydropower from dams, some of the electricity is produced by coal-burning power plants in and out of Washington.

The new Washington state carbon pledge focuses on several aspects of daily life, including household and kitchen appliances, office equipment, yard care, and personal transportation.

The state has a statutory goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, reducing emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and reducing emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

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