There are so many ways to prevent global warming through your personal action. Indeed, it is only through our personal actions that humans will ever solve the problem of global warming. These solutions listed below will help you reduce your biggest contributions to climate change. But there are many more ways you can help once you have made the vital changes listed below. Learn how!
You won’t have an impact, unless you first take a look at your biggest sources of CO2 emissions. It is crucial that you understand why you are making the changes listed below so you can become a knowledgeable, effective and motivated citizen for change. Once you know the sources of greenhouse gas emissions you will know where you need to act.
1. Use Your Power Company’s Renewable Energy Option
The single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is fossil fuel combustion for the production of electricity. The amount of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants exceeds any other single source of CO2 emissions in the United States. Knowing that, you can make one simple change to completely erase your emissions from electricity generation: use your power company’s renewable energy option.
Once you make this simple decision you will reduce your carbon footprint significantly and with very little effort. Most electric companies offer you the option of receiving all of your electricity from renewable sources. Ameren’s PurePower program, for example, makes it easy to switch to renewable energy for only a small increase in your monthly bill. This not only eliminates your dependence on coal, but also encourages further investment in renewable energy. That means the cost will only go down as more people like you make the responsible choice to use it. If your provider doesn’t have a program, tell them to start one! You’ll be surprised at how responsive they can be.
2. Stop Driving to Greatly Reduce CO2 Emissions
The second biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is from transportation. Producing almost as much carbon dioxide as electricity generation, petroleum-based transportation creates a huge burden for the planet. As a result, getting rid of your vehicle is one of the best possible ways to prevent global warming.
Your impact will be enormous when you decide to stop driving your car, and you will save yourself thousands of dollars every year. Millions of Americans commute to work without a car, and you can too. There are dozens of alternatives, from cycling to work to taking public transportation. Best of all, when you decide to sell your car you will be saving yourself the stress and financial burden of owning a personal vehicle. You can live a longer, healthier, more stress-free life when you sell your car.
3. Buy Local To Decrease Emissions
You now know from tip #2 how your personal transportation has a huge impact on climate change. But it’s just as important for you to remember the carbon footprint created from shipping food and other products to the store where you purchase them. Did you know that the average meal travels over 2000 miles to get to your dining room table? That’s a lot of CO2 emissions, and it’s one of the reasons that transportation is the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.
4. Eating Less Meat Helps Stop Global Warming
You might not realize it, but it requires a huge amount of energy to raise animals for meat consumption. Did you know that it requires a whopping 16 pounds of grain to produce only one single pound of meat, for example? The energy required to maintain this current scheme is bigger than you probably realize. In addition, animals such as cattle produce greenhouse gases themselves in their digestive tracts. Cattle are one of the largest sources of methane emissions, a powerful contributor to global warming.
5. Take Charge of Your Investments
If you are like most Americans, you have an investment portfolio of some sort. Many people choose to invest in stocks and mutual funds. What many people don’t realize is that their stocks and mutual funds could be financing environmental destruction. Mutual funds often invest in coal- probably the most environmentally destructive industry on the planet. Instead, choose a green mutual fund. You’ll feel better knowing you aren’t directly funding global warming emissions.
6. Take Trains, Not Planes!
Whenever you travel long-distances, be sure to take the train instead of a plane. Not only are trains safer and more spacious, but they produce dramatically less carbon emissions when compared to air travel. In fact, I’ll bet you didn’t know that trains produce 10 times less carbon dioxide than planes!
7. Be Vocal In Your Government
You must help shift global warming into the mainstream. Not until you as an active citizen demand that we prevent global warming will the government move to act on it in a meaningful way. No politician interested in re-election is going to sponsor the kind of legislation required to alleviate our massive responsibility for global warming without an organized citizenry pushing for better climate legislation.
8. Recycle Paper to Prevent Climate Change
If you use paper or tissue made without recycled fiber, you could be supporting the destruction of thousands of acres of centuries-old untouched forests. Not only is this an ecological travesty, but it also greatly reduces the biomass available to store carbon from the air. You see, trees and other plants absorb carbon from the air and use it to grow their stalks, roots, leaves and so on. When we cut down the trees we lose their capacity to store carbon. The solution? Use recycled paper!
9. Be A Responsible Consumer
You can use your purchasing power to help prevent global warming. When you are at the store, make sure to consider the energy required to produce and ship the product you are buying. You can reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing locally produced products and food, and by avoiding products that require a lot of energy to to make.
10. Your Secret Power
You probably don’t realize it, but you have a secret power to help fight global warming.