5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint
Climate change is front and center this week during a U.N. climate summit in New York. The Municipality of Anchorage has already adopted a plan to address its contribution and reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. The muni has a few recommendations for things Alaskans can do too to reduce their carbon footprints:
1. Use reusable bags and containers
2. Eat more Alaskan-grown products
3. Use a programmable thermostat
4. Remember to turn off lights
5. Carpool more often
"Some of the exciting stuff that we're doing is focusing on putting in renewable energy like solar panels," said Shaina Kilcoyne, energy and sustainability manager for the Municipality of Anchorage. "We now have approximately 86 kilowatts of solar, which means those systems will pay back in about seven years."
The city is also partnering with utility companies and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to encourage more electric cars by placing more charging stations in and outside of Anchorage — part of a "build it and they will come" strategy.
"Here in Anchorage, we have a mix of natural gas and hydro power and wind for electricity, and so driving an electric car over a gas vehicle reduces our emissions about 60%," Kilcoyne said.
While the U.N. report released Wednesday outlines specific warnings for melting permafrost and sea ice in the Arctic, Kilcoyne says it's concerning for Anchorage too.
"We're getting most of our water from a glacier," Kilcoyne noted, referring to Eklutna Glacier.
Kilcoyne recommends Alaskans contact their representatives to let them know whether they support climate action.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
MORE NEWS FROM KTVA: