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Stuart’s not willing to sit still on conservation. He told us himself in his guest blog that he’s got bigger and brighter ideas. He also tweeted about it on September 20, 2010: “Suddenly, I’m Mr. Power Bar. Nice to be recognized as ‘the man who introduced Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs to Ottawa’ but that’s so 2008.”

He’s referring to a great article about his work in the Ottawa Citizen that offers other ways to reduce energy, and his message is clear: it’s not just about the bulbs. It’s about the actions and the future steps we continue to take to impact change.

One Change has come a long way since it handed out the first light bulb in 2006, but their latest project uses the same innovative method of community engagement. The fuel efficiency initiative is a neat project that visits various community hotspots and hands out miniature fuel gauges to the public, to encourage them to measure their tire pressure.

We didn’t realize the impact tire pressure can have on the amount of carbon we emit, but the numbers are quite dramatic: due to low tire pressure, Canadian drivers waste enough fuel each year to fill 257 Olympic sized swimming pools. 23% of vehicles have at least one tire under-inflated by more than 20%, and 70% of vehicles have at least one tire with an inflation problem.

Don’t panic, because we’ve got some good news: with the help of loads of volunteers, the initiative has already distributed nearly 20,000 gauges. They’re also encouraging us to save fuel in other ways. Want one yourself? Pick up a tire gauge at a local event. Want to take another action? Visit our Simple Changes Matter campaign page.

Psst! Here’s how-to check your tire gauge:

1. Pick up a tire gauge and keep it handy (how about on your key chain?)

2. Find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle (found in the owner’s manual)

3. Find an air pump, such as those found at gas stations (usually for free!)

4. Remove the small cap on your tire’s air valve and press tire gauge onto the valve (this is where the “Psst!” comes into play – it’s a sound you might hear)

5. Compare – is your current tire pressure matched to the manual suggestion?

• too low? Pump it up

• too high? Release some air

6. Follow all the steps for each tire

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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