The Trump administration has rolled back regulations that protect people, animals, and the planet to allow big business and the fossil fuel industry to maximize their profit. The results have polluted our air and water and made us all less safe, ended the lives of countless animals, and pose an existential threat to the world. The damage is significant, but we don’t have to resign ourselves to it. Individuals can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate the recklessness of the Trump administration.
You may want to begin by calculating your carbon footprint to assess your GHG emissions impact. It will help you identify opportunities to improve.
Keep a car as long as possible and take care of it to reduce emissions, e.g., keep tires inflated, get regular maintenance checks, and remove heavy objects from it.
Avoid flying or fly as little as possible. If you fly, fly nonstop, don’t fly in first class, and consider offsetting your carbon emissions.
Walk, take public transportation, bike, and carpool whenever possible. If you drive and need to replace your car, buy a fuel-efficient or electric car. Avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, which burn considerably more gas.
Buy vintage clothes and avoid buying new clothes. Wear clothing as long as possible before replacing it. Clothing releases methane when it decomposes.
Check labels. Buy clothes made near you to reduce transportation costs that use fossil fuels.
Wash your clothes in cold water, which uses less energy. Line-dry to avoid using your dryer.
Eat more plant-based food. It uses much less energy to produce than meat. Animal agriculture emits methane–a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than CO2.
Buy local and organic food. Transporting food uses energy. Conventional food uses pesticides and other chemicals that pollute our soil, waterways, and nearby crops.
Buy in bulk whenever possible to reduce packaging. Avoid food that uses excessive packaging, e.g. avocados wrapped in plastic. Recycle.
Cook multiple portions at once to reduce energy use. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
Use plant-based household products. Toxic, petroleum-based products are not planet-friendly.
If you buy appliances, search for the Energy Star label.
Use LED lightbulbs. They last much longer and use a fraction of the energy.
Hand wash dishes in cool water.
Unplug devices and turn off lights when you’re not using them. They still use energy when they’re plugged in.
Use a shower head that controls water pressure and shut off water when you’re not using it, e.g., while brushing your teeth.
Insulate your home to conserve energy. Use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible.
Use solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal energy sources if available. These sources release no GHG emissions.
Vote for politicians who support green infrastructure and GHG emissions reduction policies and enforce laws that protect the environment.
Plant a tree for one dollar. Trees absorb about one ton of CO2 during their lifetime.