The Matterhorn: one of the highest summits in Europe. It’s 14,692 feet of formidable ridges covered in a heavy layer of frost -- but the ice giant won’t stay so frigid forever. The Mountain of Mountains, as it’s sometimes called, is melting, and fast. From 1975 to 1999, there was a 50% decrease in snow depth on the mountain. Melting snow is causing floods at the mountain’s base. And the very environment surrounding the mountain is changing: alpine species of plants and animals are disappearing, replaced by species that live traditionally in warmer regions.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, a 2 degrees C (about 4 degrees F) warming with no precipitation change would reduce the seasonal snow cover at a Swiss Alpine site by 50 days per year.
So what can we do to save an icon? Here’s five things:
1. Cool it with the thermostat.
Half of the energy the average person uses in their home is for heating and cooling. Setting your thermostat 2 degrees colder in the winter or 2 degrees warmer in the summer can save you about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
2. Get an energy audit.
Incentives are given for those who get an energy audit – you can save up to 30% on your energy bill, and in turn, you’ll be saving the environment by about 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Check it out: https://www.energystar.gov/
3. Eat organically.
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide much better than conventional farm soils. If America’s corn and soybean crops were grown organically, 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide would be removed from the atmosphere.
4. A tree, a ton.
One tree, over its lifetime, will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide. http://www.arborday.org/ has information on how you can help.
CRF uses a system of ClimateActionPoints™ to help offset carbon emissions worldwide. ClimateActionPoints™ operate under a system of carbon credits, which make it more difficult and expensive for carbon-using companies (like power plants) to pollute. Purchasing ClimateActionPoints™ offsets your own carbon emissions – be it from your house, your car, or from the trip you took last year.