Cause and Effect

While there's no way to avoid environmental impacts completely, we can take steps to reduce our environmental footprint.

A majority of climate scientists around the globe believe greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. They believe we must start reducing greenhouse gas emissions immediately - before climate change causes irreversible harm to the environment and our economy.

What is climate change?

Each of us is responsible for carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere - over 20 tons a year, in fact, for the average person. From the cars we drive to the lights in our homes to the heat in our buildings, our everyday lives contribute to the creation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The choice is yours

You can cut back greenhouse gas emissions and still enjoy the comfort and convenience of natural gas. Here's how:

Reduce energy use

There are simple ways you can reduce your homes energy use, ranging from weatherization measures to upgrading to more efficient equipment. Visit the Energy Trust of Oregon for information and incentives that will help reduce your home's energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Offset the rest

Once you've done all you can to reduce the emissions caused by your energy use, Smart Energy gives customers an easy way to offset the rest.

Choose high-efficiency natural gas equipment rather than electric

In Oregon, using a high-efficiency gas furnace, water heater, cook top and dryer rather than comparable high-efficiency electric equipment - including a heat pump - can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 20 percent.

Use energy wisely

Make sure your home is weatherized so you're not heating the outdoors with your furnace. To find out what you can do to keep your home comfortable and lower your energy bills, ask the Energy Trust of Oregon for a free home energy review. And when you buy new equipment, make it high efficiency. A few dollars upfront can save you money in the long run while reducing CO2 emissions.

Sign up for Smart Energy

Your Smart Energy contributions will help support projects that prevent greenhouse gases from being created. In exchange, you'll receive "carbon offsets" that balance out the CO2 emissions from your own natural gas use.

What are other ways I can reduce my environmental footprint?

Transportation is the primary source of greenhouse gases. So driving less is one of the best ways to reduce emissions.

Be a careful consumer

Think about how many new products you actually need, and consider the packaging of what you buy. How far did a product travel to reach you, and how much energy did it take to create or grow and package it?