The Environment Ministry will use the Internet to encourage people to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The ministry hopes individuals, companies and organizations will visit its Web site and register their intention to take at least three steps to prevent global warming, a ministry official said.

“The steps are simple, but will make a difference,” the official said.

The campaign might continue until the end of January, he said, adding, “We hope that by then, around 1 million people will be participating.”

The campaign is based on a movement known as Nature Challenge, promoted by Canadian environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki, among others. Nearly 70,000 people have signed up for Nature Challenge, pledging to take three steps out of a choice of 10 to protect nature.

Japanese registrants, however, will have only nine steps to choose from, and they will be less specific than those outlined by Nature Challenge. This apparently gives Japan’s participants in Japan more flexibility.

Included among the nine steps are getting out of the car and making new discoveries, saving on gas by not leaving vehicle engines idling, switching off the house lights for an hour on a given night to enjoy the night sky, and choosing energy-efficient appliances and hot-water supply systems.

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