How Can We Reduce The Effects of Global Warming

Okay, so you get it that global warming is a real and serious problem. You understand that human actions have caused global warming and that your daily consumption habits are contributing to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and helping to turn up the temperature.

Now what do you do?

Seven Actions You
Can Take Right Now

Here are a few easy things you can do that will make a big difference:

Spread The Word Online

It’s great that you’re making an effort to inform yourself about what global warming is and what you can do about it. Now get the word out to others.

Remember: bikes aren’t just toys

In the U.S., about 20% of total carbon emissions come from driving.[1] If everyone were to reduce their gasoline use by just 10%, we would keep 2.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year. [2] Plus, you’ll also enjoy the health benefits of riding a bike or walking instead of driving and the pleasure of being outdoors instead of cooped up in a car.

So get out of your car and onto a bike!

Don’t fly the not-so-friendly skies

Flying accounts for a relatively small portion of global carbon emissions – only 3.5% – but when you fly, carbon is released high in the atmosphere, where it has a much greater effect than emissions closer to the ground. [3] Furthermore, air travel is increasing every year. Why not make sure that you aren’t contributing to the increase?

There are many ways to prevent global warming while traveling. Look into them before you book your next trip.

Hold the fork on the pork

A United Nations report issued last year reported that global emissions from raising livestock are actually greater than those from flying or driving. [4]

You can improve your health and decrease your carbon footprint by simply reducing the meat on your plate and increasing the amount of vegetables and healthy carbs in your diet. The American Heart Association reports that vegetarians have less heart disease and lower rates of obesity, as well as a lower incidence of other conditions. [5]

Get the connection
you’re missing

It sounds simple, but just by sharing with others you can reduce your energy consumption and your waste. If you have to drive, why not carpool?

Instead of feeling lonely eating a meal by yourself, cook a meal with friends. Any time you share resources with those around you, you end up needing less overall than if everyone did the same activities by themselves.

Keep more money
in your pocket

Again, it’s a simple thing, but buying less stuff is one of the most effective things you can do to reduce your share of global carbon emissions and save money to boot. Just think about the fact that everything you buy has to come from somewhere. So everything you buy has to be created, which means a factory somewhere is using energy and emitting greenhouse gases to make it. To get to you, that thing has to be transported, which also requires energy. Finally, when you throw that thing away, it takes energy to cart it off to the landfill.

You can have an even bigger impact when you practice the third ‘R’ – Reduce, than when you follow either of the other two – Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce your energy bill

Just by being conscientious of when you’re using energy, you can greatly reduce your overall consumption. Did you remember to turn off the light when you left the room? Did you unplug your computer after you turned it off? What about the television or the phone charger?

You might be surprised to learn that many appliances draw energy whenever they’re plugged in, even if they’re not in use. Make a commitment to turn off and unplug anything that you’re not actively using.

Don’t Wait to Take Action

You no longer have the luxury of taking your time. The urgency of global warming requires that you take action right away.

Don’t doubt that your choices make a difference. Individuals making consumption choices got us into this mess in the first place. Now it’s up to everyone, including you, to get us out.


[1] What are the factors which contribute to global warming?

[2] A 10% drop in gasoline use would do a lot of good

[3] Does flying harm the planet?

[4] Eating meat worse for environment than flying or driving

[5] Eat less meat, cool the planet

Author: Brown, Nathan. A Cooler Climate, 2008.

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