Seattle launches campaign to educate public about global warming

By Sharon Pian Chan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle is launching a public awareness campaign to educate individuals on how to reduce greenhouse emissions and slow global warming, Mayor Greg Nickels said this morning. The campaign, called Seattle Climate Action Now, includes a new Web site and several events beginning this weekend.

At a news briefing at the Seattle Aquarium, Nickels cited a favorite quote: “Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us. That’s a pretty lousy legacy to leave.”

The campaign encourages individuals to:

• Turn home thermostats down to 55 degrees at night and when no one is home.

• Weather seal their home’s windows, doors, ducts and plumbing.

• Turn down their water heater to 120 degrees.

• Turn off and unplug electronic equipment and lights when they are not being used.

• Change at least five light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. The city is giving away free bulbs between noon and 4 p.m. Saturday at all of the Seattle Public Library branches.

The city also suggests checking car tire pressure monthly, turning off car engines when stopped for more than 30 seconds, commuting to work without a car and going car-free for a week or more.

Funding the campaign next year will cost the city $300,000, which is included in the mayor’s 2008 budget and requires City Council approval.

The new Web site, http://www.seattlecan.org, includes links to a carbon-footprint calculator as well as a calendar where community members can post or find out more about local events. A message will also appear on the Hawkvision screen during Sunday’s Seahawks game at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Other events this weekend include a bike fair in Columbia City, a conversation with the mayor at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle, and fairs in Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown-International District and at the Greenwood Library.

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