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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to prevent global warming, part of the broader environmental concern of climate change. Here are some ways to help that may surprise you.
Step 1: Live in a city
Live in a city: Urbanites own fewer cars, tend to live in energy-efficient apartment buildings, and don’t have much need for powered lawn mowers, a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
Painting a roof white reduces the energy needed to both heat and cool a building.
Step 2: Don’t assume local is better
Don’t assume that buying local is always better. Food miles — the distance food travels from farm to table — isn’t the only factor to consider: 80 percent of the carbon emissions from food production occur before shipping, and industrial farms tend to be more energy-efficient than smaller ones.
Step 3: Eat less meat
Eat less meat. The average American carnivore contributes 1.5 more tons of greenhouse gases per year than the average vegetarian. If you can’t keep away from beef, organic may be better for your body but not necessarily help prevent global warming: An organically raised cow emits 16 percent more greenhouse gases than a standard one.
Producing red meat generates 4 times the greenhouse gas emissions as an equal amount of chicken or fish.
Step 4: Practice the three R’s
Practice the three R’s — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And don’t give recyclables more than a quick rinse: For each ton of recycled plastic, consumers waste about 10 tons of water cleaning it.
Did You Know?
According to a study, companies who report increased carbon emissions see their stock value fall.
In the US northeast, coastal erosion is one of the most obvious effects of climate change. As President Trump prepares for his country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, some people on Plum Island in Massachusetts are facing the threat of losing their homes due to climate change.