Climate Change Climate change is an issue that is already beginning to affect wildlife, ecosystems, and people. When fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas are burned for energy, they emit large amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases act like a heat-trapping blanket that surrounds the earth. The denser the blanket gets the more heat it traps underneath. This trapped heat is warming our average global temperature and could lead to a substantial increase in extreme heat events, longer droughts, more flooding, and more severe marine heatwaves. These changes drastically affect polar bears and animals in our own backyards. from FrameworkInstitute.org Here at the Cincinnati Zoo, we believe in managing our resources responsibly and taking practical steps to reduce our carbon footprint. We can all make a big impact when we work to collectively reduce our carbon emissions. Ways you can save energy and save wildlife Purchase Green EnergyMost of the energy used to power our homes comes from burning natural gas or coal, which emits CO2. By buying green energy (like that made from solar panels or wind turbines) from your utility provider, you can ensure that a certain amount of energy gets produced from clean and renewable sources rather than carbon-emitting sources. Contact your utility provider to see if they offer green energy options. If you find a good solution, tell a friend! Create Idle Free Zones Idling gets you nowhere – and it can be costly. Excessive idling wastes over $100 a year per vehicle, generates needless greenhouse gas emissions, and produces more emissions per minute than driving. Advocate for an Idle-Free Zone at your local school. Weatherize Your Home If you own a house, you can save energy and money by better insulating and weatherizing your home. This includes things like: upgrading or installing attic ventilation and insulation, caulking/weather-stripping the house, and installing high-efficiency windows. According to the Department of Energy, weatherizing your home can save you over 20% on heating and cooling bills! Encourage friends to do the same! Promote Clean Transportation Support community initiatives to carpool or use mass transit. Consider trading your car in for a more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle! By burning less gas (or none at all), you’ll emit less carbon dioxide, save money and help improve local air quality! Click here to learn more about hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles. You can also use this tool to compare different vehicles by cost, fuel economy, and fuel type.