Our human activity significantly contributes to climate change, and we’re releasing greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere at a rapid rate. Despite this, there are ways we can implement change on an individual level. As overwhelming as it might be to change your habits, even a few minor adjustments like these listed below can make more of a difference than you might think. 

Picture: Matthew Smith

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

It can sometimes seem like the most convenient way to get rid of old furniture and goods you no longer need is to throw them in the trash and send them to a landfill. However, it can be worth arranging a Salvation Army donation pickup in order to donate your unused items to someone who needs them. 

Rather than sending a perfectly good table, bookcase, or children’s toys to a landfill where they can break down and emit greenhouse gasses, you donate your possessions to someone who may have otherwise not been able to afford them. 

Cycle More

Driving can sometimes seem like the most convenient way to get around, but cycling is both beneficial for your health and the environment. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a passenger vehicle emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Swapping driving for walking or biking just one day a week can cut your carbon footprint


It can sometimes feel like no matter what you do to protect the environment, you’re not making a difference. Any small change can be helpful, but it’s only natural to want to see results. 

By volunteering, that can sometimes be possible. For example, you could join a beach cleanup crew and pick up rubbish that may endanger wildlife. The results are almost immediate when you see a beautifully clean part of the beach you’ve played a part in creating. There are also plenty of volunteering opportunities if you know where to look

Make Energy-Efficient Appliance Purchases

Once your appliances reach the end of their working life, put thought into which ones you will buy to replace them. The most energy-efficient appliances may help you reduce your carbon footprint, save money on your electricity bills, save water, and prevent greenhouse emissions. 

Fortunately, many manufacturers are beginning to realize that these benefits are what consumers want to experience and are ensuring their appliances meet the ENERGY STAR certification requirements. 

Shop Differently

Convenience products are all around us. For example, we can purchase pre-chopped fruit in plastic wrap to save time and pre-made salads in single-use plastic bowls. 

While convenient for our busy lifestyles, such single-use packaging products are not doing our environment any favors. Try completing your weekly grocery trip with a different outlook. Small changes, such as purchasing soap bars instead of liquid soap and a whole pineapple instead of pre-cut pineapple, can be a step in the right direction. 

It’s easy to feel like you can’t make a difference, but you can. Small changes over a lifetime, such as donating goods, driving less, and making better shopping choices, might be how you help the environment and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions now and into the future.