Talking doesn't amount to much when there are no actions to support it. It's unclear what the nations will actually do in response to the recent Climate Agreements in Paris. So, in efforts to do something productive, the best option is to do it yourself. There are hundreds of ways to help reduce carbon emissions and slow the damage to our earth. We've compiled a list of a few of the easiest, most adoptable options that you can start now!
Travel Smarter. Transportation accounts for more than 30 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), public transportation in the United States saves approximately 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline and about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Yet only 14 million Americans use public transportation daily while 88 percent of all trips in the United States are made by car—and many of those cars carry only one person. Ride your bike, carpool, walk, or take public transportation to help lower that 30 percent.
Buy Local Food. According to the NRDC, "A typical American meal contains ingredients from ve foreign countries, and even domestically grown produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before it is sold.7 Buying locally can help reduce the pollution and energy use associated from transporting, storing and refrigerating this food—that’s especially true for food that is imported by airplane, including perishables such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and asparagus. In California, which imports food distributed throughout the nation, NRDC estimates that the smog-forming emissions from importing fruits and vegetables are equivalent to the annual emissions from 1.5 million cars."
Unplug. "Completely powering off your gadgets isn't just good for your devices, it's good for the planet. What's even better is unplugging your chargers when they're not in use. If you're someone who always leaves your phone charger dangling from the wall, doesn't power off your cable box and forgets to put your computer on sleep mode, many of your tech behaviors can use some adapting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adopting these practices can save you $100 each year on your energy bill."
Switch It Up. "Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. What's more, CFLs lower your energy bills and keep a half-ton of carbon dioxide out of the air. Learn more on the benefits of switching to CFLs or LEDs."
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. The packaged items you buy are adding to the problem. Try to keep all the packaging you use for one week and you'll see just how over the top it is. Carbon Footprint explains how a small problem has an ongoing snowball effect.