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All across America, people are rolling up their sleeves and taking control of their energy future. If you’ve seen the Earth: The Operators’ Manual programs, you’ve already met a few of them. Now it’s your turn. You know the science: Earth’s climate is changing because of our actions, and fossil fuels lead us down a dead-end road. You, like us, don’t want to sit around waiting for Washington to do something about it. It’s time to take action and move together toward a sustainable energy future.

But what, exactly, do we do? We all can’t put up wind turbines in our backyards, and we can’t all move off the grid, so what kinds of realistic steps do we take—and can one person really make a difference, anyway?

Yes, you can. Each one of us can. We use energy in everything we do, even when we’re sleeping. It’s kind of like breathing, so no surprise that most of us take it for granted. But we’re all Earth “operators,” and the things we do on a daily basis have an impact, for better or worse and in ways big and small.

The average American uses more energy than the average global citizen, twice as much as a European, four times as much as the average Chinese, and 50 times as much as someone living off the grid in Africa or Latin America.

That’s why it’s so incredibly important that, in tackling the climate and energy challenge, we all tap the “fifth fuel,” energy efficiency and conservation. And that’s where ETOM comes in. Your car and computer come with a manual for use, so why not one for the most complex operating system of all – Earth? Packed with effective tips and practical solutions, this Operators’ Manual is a resource to help you better understand the biggest categories of personal energy consumption – home, goods/services, food and travel – and arm you with tools to save money while keeping the planet running at peak performance. (And yes, we have an app—OK, a widget—for that.)
Read through for advice on shaking up the daily routine and cultivating new habits that will change your life for the better. You’ll save cash and time. You’ll have a more comfortable home. You’ll be healthier. You’ll be empowered with new knowledge. You’ll want to encourage your friends, family and neighbors to follow your lead. You may even get inspired to talk to local businesses and elected officials about effecting even bigger changes. We need to keep reminding them that the more energy efficient we become, the less we’ll need imported energy, and the less we’ll deplete our own resources, making us more secure as a nation. And we’ll leave a smaller carbon footprint. That’s good news all around.
This manual is the companion to an irreplaceable Operating System, our home planet, Earth, so use it well and spread the word. Tweet it, Facebook it, email it, share it with your family, your friends, your coworkers and your community. Because we’re all Earth operators.

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