Ultimately, the driving force behind ocean acidification is the large quantity of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activities. Reducing carbon emissions is critical. You can start to make personal changes in carbon consumption by looking through the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide to what you can do. Our oceans are currently facing change due to the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere, but we can work to avoid advanced effects of OA by reducing carbon emissions. Acting now to reduce emissions is a necessary investment in long-term solutions.
Looking for specific ways to get involved? Check out the following ideas for taking practical steps and helping others take action.
- Sign up for the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network newsletter
- Listen to the The Future Ocean Podcast on how carbon policy can help Alaska oceans
- Join the Ocean Acidification Information Exchange
- Learn about ocean acidification on a nationwide level through the NOAA OAP
- Explore this interactive website that provides ideas based on money, time, and resources: Realistic ways you can combat climate change
- Follow the Alaska OA Network on Facebook
- Share OA Network eNews and announcements with your organization’s membership
- Host a speaker in your community! Find one by exploring our expertise database or contacting email@example.com.
- Keep up with clean energy progress in Alaska through the Renewable Energy Alaska Project
- Join the community water sampling network!
- Join your local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on national policies to address climate change.
- Call or write letters to your congressional delegation, requesting OA research & monitoring and promoting carbon emissions reduction.
- Write a Letter to the Editor or an OpEd about ocean acidification and the need to reduce carbon emissions.
Be Energy Smart!
Using less energy generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, making ocean life safer.
- Upgrade your stove! The Fairbanks North Star Borough will fully reimburse residents who upgrade their wood-, pellet-, or coal-burning stove to an EPA certified catalytic stove. Apply here.
Watch this video to learn more about wood stoves and to find out if you should upgrade your appliance.
- Heat your home with a mini-split heat pump! These ductless heat systems are easy to install and dramatically increase your energy efficiency.
Use this calculator to explore possible energy and cost savings from use of a mini-split heat pump in an Alaskan home or small building.
- Convert to a zero-emission air-source heat pump! These systems are more energy efficient and cheaper to operate than oil burning furnaces and electric baseboards.
- Juneau Carbon Offset will install free air-source heat pumps for low income homes in Juneau. Apply here.
- Alaska Power & Telephone Company offers a $500 rebate on new air-source heat pumps.
- Sealaska adds a $500 rebate for shareholders to AP&T’s existing rebate for households that convert to air-source heat pump.
- The Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority assists tribal members with free conversion to air source heat pump.
- Check with your local energy provider to see if there is a program in your region that assists with heat pump conversion!
Alaska Heat Smart’s energy advisors are conducting in-person and phone Heat Pump Home Assessments to help you make informed decisions about your home heating options. Alaska Heat Smart will:
- Generate, provide and explain a detailed report on your home’s energy use
- Help identify home energy improvements, including options for heat pump installations.
- Help your effort to obtain bids from contractors.
- Help you identify potential financing options.
- Provide a follow-up evaluation.
Apply online to have an Alaska Heat Smart energy advisor provide you with an home energy assessment and report!
Strategize your errands to minimize travel! Plan ahead to combine errands and avoid unnecessary trips. Make the most of your drive time by grouping your errands and activities together. If your grocery store is near other places you need to visit, do it all at once. If you have a daily commute, consider running an errand or two on your way home.
Carpool! If you’re headed in the same direction, share your ride! More people in a single car means there will be less cars on the road, cutting greenhouse emissions and traffic at the same time.
Don’t Idle! The EPA reminds us that unnecessary idling of cars and trucks pollutes the air, wastes fuel, and causes excess engine wear. Fun fact: modern vehicles do not require “warming up”.
Upgrade to an electric vehicle! There are many local, state, and federal incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), like cash rebates, tax credits, energy company discounts, and reimbursement of charger installation costs. Learn more about how electric vehicles work, costs and benefits, and where to find charging stations in Alaska.
Curious to know how much it would cost to charge an EV at home in Alaska? And what the carbon emissions would be? Use this calculator to find out!
There are currently 68 charging stations in the state and the Alaska Energy Authority is actively developing an EV fast-charging corridor connecting Homer to Fairbanks through Healy. Learn more about how the Alaska Energy Authority is preparing the state for electric vehicles.
BRING IT HOME
Find out what your local government, businesses and schools are doing to reduce use of fossil fuels and transition to renewable, clean energy. Some great examples include:
- Anchorage Climate Action Plan
- Juneau Renewable Energy Strategy
- Kodiak Island Microgrid
- Unalaska’s Geothermal Power Transition
- Alaska Wind For Schools Program
- Thorne Bay School biomass furnace and greenhouse
- Alaska Gateway School District (Tok) electric school bus
What are the exciting ways your town is transitioning to clean energy?
SPREAD THE WORD
Educate others about how carbon dioxide emissions are impacting ocean life.
- Share informational videos, websites, podcasts, factsheets, and memes with your family, friends, colleagues, and social media followers.
- Tap into your inner artist and let your passion for the health of our oceans inspire you to tell the OA story through poetry, prose, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, knitting, weaving, carving, and more!
- Ask the teachers in your life about how they are incorporating OA into this year’s lesson plans. Share our For Educators page for fun ideas and effective strategies!