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Contact: Ron Terry, 435-772-0160
Contact: Tom Haraden, 435-772-0161
On Monday, June 16, 2008 the National Park Service and the National Parks Conservation Association will launch the Do Your Part! For Climate Friendly Parks website at www.doyourpartparks.org. It is the first interactive online program in the country that provides a fun way to calculate an individual or family’s carbon footprint—the quantity of carbon dioxide produced by driving and heating and cooling our homes. The website allows participants to select actions that will reduce their energy use and will calculate the resulting CO2 reductions. Actions that reduce carbon footprints include driving less, recycling more, or using energy efficient appliances. Visitors to the site will immediately see the effects of their pledge on slowing global warming and can track their progress.
People often feel their actions are too small to have an impact on an issue as big as global warming. However, when taken together many small actions can make a big difference. Every year, Zion National Park hosts 2.7 million visitors. Even if a fraction of those visitors begin to make simple changes at home and when visiting parks, the effect would be enormous.
Fifteen national parks, all participants in the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program, serve as “groups” for the website. By choosing a park, visitors to the site can add their CO2 reduction pledge to those of others to meet the goal of that park. As an example, Zion National Park’s goal is to reduce its group’s carbon footprint by 9 million pounds in 2008. Some of the other parks participating include Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Everglades National Parks, Gateway National Recreation Area, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
The technically advance calculator was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The website also provides interactive features such as resource guides, maps, and monthly action e-tips. Another feature allows for the creation of new groups, such as families, neighborhoods, schools, or businesses.