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How to reduce your environmental impact

Americans recycle 34 percent of trash they create

A person’s carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon gases they emit by using fossil fuel.

According to NASA, these gases trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. However, there are things you can do to lessen your personal impact on the environment. 

Being green is in. The EPA says Americans recycle 34% of all trash they create. That is up from 6% 50 years ago.

What are some other ways that you can lessen your environmental impact? 

Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gases, but you don’t have to give up your car. To help the environment, go easy on the brakes, make sure your tires have the proper air pressure and don’t weigh your car down with extra items that reduce emissions. 

Since cows use a lot of feed, water and land, eating less red meat can have up to 100 times the environmental impact of plant-based foods. You don’t have to go vegan, but according to a Carnegie Mellon study, just one vegetarian meal per week can save the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving nearly 1,200 miles.

And don’t think you are doing the environment a favor when buy organic. Organic foods often require more land so they emit similar amounts of greenhouse gases compared to conventional food.  

Another thing you can do is be wary of buying in bulk. On average, people waste about one-third of food they buy, that’s according to the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations.

One more thing is to stop using plastic straws.

According to Get Green Now, it takes up to 200 years for plastic straws to decompose and they can’t be recycled in most places.

Also, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from ingested plastic every year.