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 footprint

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!

To view additional suggestions, use these links:

  • Making a Difference at Home and on the Road
  • What You Can Do at Home, Office, School or On the Road 
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    10. Plant a couple of additional trees around your home.  
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 20 lbs/year

    9. Next time you buy a refrigerator, purchase a high-efficiency model with the energy star logo. 
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 220 lbs/year

    8. Buy food and other products with reusable or recyclable packaging
    ——» Pollution reduction = 230 lbs/year

    [Reuse & Recycling in Contra Costa]

    7. Next time you buy a washing machine, purchase a low-energy, low-water-use machine with the energy star logo. 
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 440 lbs/year

    6. Install a solar thermal system to help provide your hot water. 
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 720 lbs/year

    [Green Building in Contra Costa]

    5. Recycle all of your home's waste newsprint, cardboardglass and metal
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 850 lbs/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 = 1,590 lbs/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 = 2300 lbs/year

    2. Insulate your home, tune up your furnace, and install low-flow shower heads. 
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 2,480 lbs/year

    ...and the #1 thing you can do...

    1. Next time you replace your most frequently used automobile, purchase a fuel-efficient car, rated up to 32 mpg or more
    ——»  Pollution reduction = 5,600 lbs/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.