In the Climate Change thread
in D&D it was suggested that we have a thread for tips and advice on living more environmentally friendly, reduce your carbon footprint, etc. It's a very big job that everyone needs to do, can get very overwhelming due to the scale, and if we don't civilization as we know it is pretty much doomed.
These first few posts will have a listing of tips that you can start doing, links to other posts in the thread with good advice or general wise words, and links to outside websites with further information. If you have good information or can link to good information, post it and I'll update. Home composting/recycling/waste reduction, how geothermal heating works and why everyone should invest in it, producing electricity, what to eat and when, weatherproofing, gardening, painting your roof white, even indirect things like writing to your local representatives, it can all go here.
You can also post here if you have questions about things, like you have a fancy thermostat that can change the temperature over the course of the day but your mom keeps freaking out and telling you that you use more energy when the temperature goes back to normal than you would by keeping it the same (which is false
by the way - also that's not my mom but someone else's mom). We can discuss pros and cons of nuclear power and wind energy or crunch numbers on if it's more effective to do X or Y or if you're doing it wrong and actually making things worse in doing so (for instance, canvas bags need to be used 172 times each
before they become more environmentally friendly than using plastic bags - so if you're like me and have used the same bags for over ten years, probably alright, but if you're going to forget about them after five uses, don't waste your money).
I'll try to keep things updated regularly. PM me if you have questions.
If they're not heavily soiled or needs to be disinfected (like sheets, pillows, and cloth diapers), wash your clothes in cold water. Detergents and washing machine technology are a lot more advanced these days than they used to be and 90% of the energy used by a washer is for heating water. You can do this if you have your own washing machine or go to a laundromat. You'll save more energy this way than by washing warmly and then hanging the clothes to dry, though you can do the latter also if you like.
Eat less meat, especially beef
Eating meat requires significantly more water and caloric input and produces more CO2 output than eating the equivalent amount in plant calories. Beef and lamb are the worst offenders, but beef is more widespread. If you can't completely cut out meat, try at least to substitute beef with other meats.
More Advanced Tips
Black tar roofs absorb most sunlight, getting hot - very hot - in the summer. Having a cooler roof would reduce local heating, the heat island effect in cities, and reduce cooling costs. Green roofs have vegetation that both absorbs sunlight and reduces water runoff, but can be expensive and difficult to maintain. White/cool roofs may not reduce water runoff but reflect more light, leading to a cooler surface and area, which can reduce total energy costs by up to 40% in Sun Belt areas. Links are below.