What you can do

Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions or carbon footprint

Learning which aspects of your lifestyle cause greenhouse gas emissions will enable you to focus on your life choices that have the greatest impact on climate and deserve the most attention. If you have not already done so, first use an online greenhouse gas emissions calculator to help you understand your household's carbon footprint, including your greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, transportation, and waste disposal.

Ten simple things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprintglobelight.jpg

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if your family did all of then of the items listed, you could cut your own global warming pollution by more than 11,000 lbs per year!

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10. Plant a couple of additional trees around your home.

Pollution reduction equals 20 pounds per year

9. Next time you buy a refrigerator, purchase a high-efficiency model with the energy star logo.

Pollution reduction equals 220 pounds per year

8. Buy food and other products with reusable or recyclable packaging.

7. Next time you buy a washing machine, purchase a low-energy, low-water-use machine with the energy star logo.

Pollution reduction equals 440 pounds per year

6. Install a solar thermal system to help provide your hot water.

Pollution reduction equals 720 pounds per year  [Green Building in Contra Costa]

5. Recycle all of your home's waste newsprint, cardboard, glass and metal.

Pollution reduction equals 850 pounds per year [Recycling in Contra Costa]

4. If possible, leave your car at home two days a week. Take public transportation to work, school, or on errands instead.

Pollution reduction equals 1,590 pounds per year [Public Transportation in Contra Costa]

3. Replace two of the five most frequently used light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Pollution reduction equals 2300 pounds per year

2. Insulate your home, tune up your furnace, and install low-flow shower heads.

Pollution reduction equals 2,480 pounds per year

1. Next time you replace your most frequently used automobile, purchase a fuel-efficient car, rated up to 32 miles per gallon (mpg) or more.

Pollution reduction equals 5,600 pounds per year

Want more ideas?

The EPA's What You Can Do at Home, Office, School or On the Road website includes 30 action steps that individuals can take to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, increase the nation's energy independence, and save money.