One of the challenges of involving people in energy efficiency efforts is getting beyond the obvious benefits — lower electric bills — to the bigger picture of climate change and doing more than the easy stuff — switching out light bulbs and taking reusuable bags to the supermarket.
You can say the average person in the Coachella Valley puts 9 tons of carbon dioxide in the air a year, but what does that mean? You can’t see emissions.
Ted Flanigan, the founder of the energy consulting firm EcoMotion in Irvine, decided to help folks visualize a ton of carbon dioxide by creating a true-to-scale, 32-foot-tall balloon — called the Emissions Time Bomb — and launching a new campaign urging people to “Save a Ton.”
Yup. Turns out a ton of carbon dioxide is pretty darned big. Multiply by 9 and that’s what each of us is putting in the air every year.
Flanigan will be in Palm Springs — with the Time Bomb — Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Camelot Theatre parking lot as a part of the closing event for Palm Springs Bike Month. Arrive early — 8 a.m. — if you want to watch Flanigan and his crew inflate the balloon.
Some of the actions recommended to lighten your carbon footprint by a ton include –
– Reducing your driving 40 miles a week (based on a 20 mpg vehicle)
– Composting 80 pounds of food scraps per year
– For businesses, buying 20 cases of office paper with 30 percent post-consumer recycled content.
If you miss the Time Bomb Saturday, Flanigan is bringing it back to the valley May 11 at a science fair at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert campus.