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Green Your Lifestyle

In addition to making use of new products and technology that use renewable energy sources to cut back on emissions, there are also many ways that we as individuals can make important lifestyle choices to help reduce global warming and save our environment. It is not too late to make a difference, but we must act quickly. Each of us can make a huge impact by making our lives more green.

1. Go solar

The number one way that you can make a positive impact on our environment is by going solar. Americans are the top contributors to global warming worldwide. We produce more CO2 than any other country. CO2 is the biggest cause of global warming; therefore, the simplest solution to continued global warming is to burn less fuel and produce less carbon dioxide.

The average American family produces 8,395,000 pounds of CO2 every year! If we continue this pattern, we will soon find that the problem IS greater than the solution. But, by switching to solar energy, you can greatly reduce your annual CO2 production.

2. Buy an energy efficient automobile

Another way to help save our environment is to purchase a more fuel efficient or even a hybrid vehicle. Competing car companies proudly boast their superior miles per gallon. Paying attention to these factors when choosing a vehicle is a small and simple step that you can take to improve our environment. The more miles per gallon of gas that your vehicle can go, the less fuel you will need to purchase and emit into our environment.

A second, and even more fuel efficient option, is the hybrid vehicle. The hybrid combines electricity and gas to create an automobile that runs on much less fuel than any purely gas powered car. Many name brand car companies now carry at least one hybrid option. For example, Honda's 2007 line includes a hybrid Civic model and a hybrid Accord model. Toyota also carries hybrid vehicles. Their best known hybrid option is the Prius, but they also include a hybrid Camry model as well as a hybrid SUV, the Highlander.

In addition, continue to check into the purely electric vehicle. The technology is available; however, this option is not really affordable or accessible in a practical format for most at the present time.

3. When possible, bike, walk, or use public transportation

There are often times when we use our cars to get somewhere simply because it is easy or because we don't think about the other options. But by walking or biking, we not only get a chance to exercise and enjoy being outside, but we are also helping to save our environment from the harmful fumes and CO2 emmited by our vehicles. If you are going a short distance, try an alternate form of transportation. Even carpooling to work or riding the city bus is a great way to cut down on your individual contribution to global warming.

4. Eat organic food or grow your own

Eating organic or home grown food can significantly aid in reducing carbon dioxide production and therefore help to reduce global warming. Fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store most likely took a lot of energy to produce. From the pesticides used to increase the ratio of good food to rotten and bug-eaten food, to the machinery used at the packaging plants, a large amount of unhealthy toxins are released into our environment. Organic produce is normally grown on smaller farms and by individuals who do not use large machines and pesticides on their food. Because the final amount of edible organically grown produce is lessened from the absence of pesticides, we must help to support this industry by choosing organic food. Not only are we helping our environment, but organically grown produce tastes much fresher due to the lack of pesticides used in the growing process.

Eating meat that was farmed free-range as opposed to feed lot or factory raised meat also helps to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in our air. Feed lots and meat factories use large machinery in the production of their product which puts a lot of unnecessary CO2 into our atmosphere.

5. Raise community awareness

Becoming involved in local environmental programs and community meetings will help you to learn more about global warming and other environmental concerns currently affecting our planet. You will also be able to meet people in your community who share your concerns about the environment. Depending on where you live, different programs may be in place that you can join or donate to. You may also be able to start your own awareness program or meeting to help get other people involved. There are several films currently out which discuss our environmental crisis. A good way to get others interested in the subject might be to hold a screening of a film about global warming in your home or community. You may also want to suggest a book about global warming to your book club. You can find some good ideas for films and books in our Resources section.

There is a practical solution Stop talking about it. Start doing something. It is not too late.
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