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Climate change is a reality in 2021. Many people know this, but still find themselves wrestling with the question, “what can I do?”

One way individuals can combat climate change is by reducing their carbon footprint. According to statistics, greenhouse gas emissions rose by 37 percent from 1990 to 2015, and the numbers continue to go up.

Now is the time to focus on your individual impact on climate change. If you want to adjust your lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly, here are some tips to get you started on reducing your carbon footprint.

When You’re On the Move

Transportation accounts for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. But with transportation being an integral part of everyday life, we can’t cut it out entirely.

If you live in a big city with accessible public transportation and bike lanes, it can be easier to rely less on a car to get you where you need to go. However, if public transportation just isn’t an option for you, there are ways you can drive to be more fuel-efficient.

Going easy on your brakes and accelerating with less intensity can result in 40 percent less wasted fuel according to sources.

If you want to cut out fuel entirely, consider switching to an electric car. With charging ports popping up in more places, electric cars can provide you with ease and convenience, without the negative environmental effects.

When You’re at Home

If you’re looking for a way to implement a more environmentally conscious lifestyle immediately, try switching up your routine at home. A few small habits can go a long way.

Start by turning off heat, lights, and appliances when they’re not in use. Leaving these on can result in wasted energy. Additionally, create a recycling bin in your home if you don’t have one already.

If you’re a fan of DIY, get creative with ways to reuse empty containers and other materials within your house. If you’ve burned through a candle, don’t throw it away! You can use empty candle holders for potted plants or to store small items.

If you’re ready to get rid of electricity completely, consider switching to solar-powered energy. Solar panels can be installed in your home and use energy from a natural source, the sun! Choosing solar panels can require some research so make sure you’re using a reputable company when making the switch.

When You’re Eating

The production of meat, especially red meat, requires a lot of land and resources. Cutting back on your individual consumption can help to decrease demand.

If you’re not ready to go vegan or vegetarian, try to limit your meat consumption by opting for more plant-based meals. To ensure no food goes to waste and to save money in the process, aim to prepare most of your meals at home.

When You’re Shopping

Go green when you’re shopping for clothes by avoiding fast-fashion retailers. These stores often ship clothes from outside the country which requires transportation of products and increases the use of fossil fuels.

If you have clothes you want to get rid of, consider donating them to a local charity or reselling them at a consignment store. When you sell and shop second-hand, fewer clothes end up in a landfill and you can ensure that someone else will get use out of what you give away.

Start Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Today

While some of these tips will take time to implement, many of them can be done right away. So whether you’re ready to make big or small changes to your everyday life, you can take control of your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment today.

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