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10 ways

to combat global warming

You can help make a difference by reducing your carbon footprint one step at a time.


Washington Post

A United Nations climate change report this month declared the world to be in danger of losing the battle against global warming if extreme measures are not adopted in the next decade. The report set off a new round of bickering between Trump administration officials and lawmakers. But as world leaders ponder whether and how to save the world, how can ordinary people contribute?

Americans produce an average of 21 tons of carbon a year, about four times the global average, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The decisions you make each day can make a difference, but there is a lot of noise out there that can make it hard to know where to start. How effective is forgoing the straw in your soda or carrying a reusable coffee cup in your car in a battle as massive as climate change?

These are good small steps, environmental advocates say, although for a private citizen, the most effective action is to elect politicians who share your concerns and push local leaders to pursue climate-friendly policies.

But you can make a difference in global warming at home and in your community - and save yourself money in the process.

1 Commute like a European

Transportation accounts for the biggest share of America's carbon footprint. Traditional cars burn fossil fuels, causing air pollution and contributing to smog, acid rain and global warming. Biking, walking or taking public transit are the best alternatives. When choosing a place to live, look for walkable areas with high-quality public transportation and lots of bike lanes.

2 When you do drive, plug in

'Most Americans can make the biggest dent in their individual carbon footprints by cutting transportation emissions - whether that's by driving (and idling) less or choosing lower-carbon cars,' said Juanita Constible, a senior advocate for federal policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. About 60 percent of carbon pollution from transportation comes from passenger vehi-


An electric car recharges in St. Petersburg. Traditional cars burn fossil fuels, causing air pollution and contributing to global warming.

Times (2012)

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