Companies, governments and individuals can all take steps to reduce emissions. Here are some ways you can help.
Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tonnes of solid waste is collected worldwide, and the decay of the organic proportion of solid waste is contributing about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Using a refillable bottle, bringing your own reusable bag, and asking the restaurants you frequent to stop using plastic straws helps reduce plastic waste.
Our roads are full of fossil fuel burning vehicles that create 23% of carbon emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector have more than doubled since 1970, with around 80% of this increase coming from road vehicles. You can plan your journeys and use public transportation or cycle and walk if it’s a short distance.
You can make choices that are good for your health and for the planet by changing your diet. Eat more plants because livestock creates 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions as opposed to a plant-based diet which has a lower environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions and energy, land and water use).
Local food doesn't travel as far, which helps reduce its carbon footprint. We will need to produce around 50% more food by 2050 to feed a growing population. Buying locally produced foods that are in season reduces the impact of shipping.
Fashion creates over 8% of greenhouse gases and contributes to landfills. It takes about 7,500 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans - from the production of the cotton to the delivery of the final product to the store. Buying fewer clothes, shopping second-hand, or upcycling, i.e. creating new clothes out of old ones, helps save water and reduce waste.
Lighting creates 15% of power consumption and 5% of greenhouse gases. By turning off your lights and using energy-efficient lightbulbs, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money. If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.
Households consume about 30% of worldwide energy. By unplugging your electronics and appliances when not in use, you can save energy and money while reducing your carbon footprint.
Source: United Nations ActNow