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We’re living in a society where the climate is changing rapidly. Changes in the climate are happening before our eyes, leading to extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, and, as a result, a decrease in food production and species extinction. Climate change is undeniably having a major effect on our lives and planet. With the current effects we’re seeing from human-made changes to the environment and the fear that our children and the generations ahead will experience the more catastrophic effects, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to make changes and reduce the damage our activities are causing to the environment.

While it may feel daunting to think about how we can make a difference that’s large enough to actually help combat climate change, small individual efforts can have an impact in a larger collective effort. So if you’re looking to take action and help make a difference, check out these 10 subtle steps you can take to fight against climate change and make a positive impact.

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Replace Meat with Plant-Based Foods

Meat consumption has been found to be one of the major contributors to global warming, due to the resources and emissions needed to create it. As such, replacing meat with vegetarian or vegan meals can help significantly reduce carbon emissions. If you’re not prepared to switch to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, making small changes such as Meatless Mondays can still make a huge difference.

Eliminate Food Wastage

Nearly one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. That’s a huge amount of resources, water, and energy that was used to create the food, that ultimately all goes to waste. Even if you’re just eliminating waste from your own plate, that’s a great start and can contribute to a larger collective effort. Pay attention to food expiration dates and be thoughtful about how much food you’re purchasing and organizing in a way that you’ll be able to consume it before it spoils.

Choose Sustainable Commuting

Vehicle transport is responsible for 25-30% of all global CO2 emissions, so another way to reduce those emissions is to cut down on private vehicle use. Instead, opt to use public transportation, bicycle or walk to your destination. Not only will this help reduce emissions, it also helps you stay active and will help reduce air pollution in your local area.

Grow Your Own Produce

If you enjoy gardening or are just looking for an easy way to reduce emissions, growing your own produce is a great option. Investing in a vegetable garden is a great way to reduce food miles and the resources needed for transport, packaging and storage for commercially grown produce. Plus, you reap the personal rewards of enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Save Water

Water is a vital source of life and is limited on this planet, so reducing water usage is a great way to combat climate change. This can be done by practicing simple habits such as not leaving the water running when you brush your teeth, being mindful about how much water you use when washing dishes and clothes, and fixing any leaking taps. You can even bring it a step further by collecting rainwater and using it to do your gardening and car washing.

Invest in Renewable Energies

Renewable energies, such as solar and wind power, can help reduce emissions and save on electricity cost. Investing in renewable energy options like solar panels, solar water heaters, and wind turbines can help significantly reduce your electricity costs and consequently reduce your carbon footprint.

Purchase Reusable Items

One of the major contributors to climate change is single-use plastic items. While single-use items are easy and convenient, they are causing a major strain on our planet. Make a conscious decision to buy reusable items such as water bottles, straws, lunch bags, and bags when shopping, and you can make a positive contribution.

Choose Sustainable Materials

If you’re looking to buy new furniture or clothes, look for materials that are sustainable such as natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool. These materials are naturally-sourced and are biodegradable, which means they won’t be sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years. Additionally, look for items that are certified as sustainable and/or come from eco-conscious brands.

Compost at Home

Composting is a great way of reducing waste from landfills and converting waste into a natural soil amendment. Organic waste such as kitchen scraps and yard waste, can be recycled and converted into rich and fertile compost. This can then be used in your garden, reducing the need for you to purchase artificial fertilizers, and consequently reducing your environmental impact.

Encourage Others to Take Action

Talking to your family, friends and co-workers about climate change and sharing what you’ve learnt can be incredibly powerful. You don’t need to be an activist to do good. Encouraging others to also take action, no matter how small, can be rewarding and can encourage a larger collective effort.

Learn More About Climate Change

Learning more about the science behind climate change and better understanding the actions that can be taken to reduce your carbon footprint are two great ways to become more conscious of the environment. Doing research into climate change and learning all you can about it will not only help you to become more knowledgeable on the issue, but it will also encourage you to take action and make more sustainable choices.

Taking action to combat climate change can seem daunting, but there are small and subtle steps you can take which, when taken collectively, will have a major positive effect on the planet. From switching to plant-based foods and eliminating food waste, to investing in renewable energies, composting and encouraging others to take action, these simple steps can all make a difference, no matter how small. With every action taken, no matter how small, you can contribute to a bigger effort in reducing the effects of climate change.

The reality is that climate change won’t be solved overnight, but by taking action and doing our part, we can help make a huge difference and have a positive outcome for our planet.

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