Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123


Academy's new Sustainability Made Simple guide contains eco-friendly ideas
and basic steps that are easy to adopt in 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (December 22, 2008) — It's time to break your old routine; make this year's resolution green! While shedding weight and quitting bad habits will likely always be among the most popular resolutions, the California Academy of Sciences is urging Americans to give the planet a happy New Year in 2009 by adding a different type of resolution to their annual goal-setting session. The Academy has made it easy to adopt a "New Year's Resolution for the Planet" by producing Sustainability Made Simple, a free, pocket-sized guide filled with basic steps that anyone can take to green their life. Organized into the broad themes of transportation, food, and home practices, each suggestion consists of three steps that progress from the simplest to the most complex. A few examples are listed below.

Driving Habits
Step 1) Conserve gas by driving the speed limit.
Step 2) Turn off your engine rather than idling when you are still for more than a few minutes.
Step 3) Open your windows when going slowly; close your windows and switch on the A/C when on the freeway.

Home Heating and Cooling
Step 1) Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees F in the summer and 68 degrees F in the winter.
Step 2) Turn down heat or air conditioning when you are sleeping or not at home.
Step 3) Install a programmable thermostat to ensure your home's temperature is optimal for your comfort and for the environment.

Many "New Year's Resolutions for the Planet" are just as healthy for your body as they are for the Earth. To drop pounds and carbon dioxide emissions at the same time, consider the following tips from Sustainability Made Simple: eat fewer processed foods, reduce the amount of beef in your diet (and when you do eat beef, look for free-range, grass-fed beef), and walk or ride your bike for short trips. As an added incentive to opt for self-powered transportation, the Academy offers a $3 discount to each visitor who walks or rides their bike to the museum.

The Academy's Sustainability Made Simple card is available for download now at While on the website, visitors can take a poll, post comments, or "tweet" to announce which eco-friendly steps they pledge to take in 2009. Printed cards will also be available at the Academy starting in January.

Content for Sustainability Made Simple was generated by Academy scientists and educators, with support from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Academy's lead sustainability sponsor.

About the California Academy of Sciences
The Academy is an international center for scientific education and research and is at the forefront of efforts to understand and protect the diversity of Earth's living things. The Academy has a staff of over 50 professional educators and Ph.D.-level scientists, supported by more than 100 Research and Field Associates and over 300 Fellows. It conducts research in 11 fields of study that focus on two of the most important scientific questions of our time: “How did life evolve?” and “How will it survive?”