What can you do?
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PUBLISHED FOR EVERYBODY ROUND THE EARTH
What can you do?
If you would like to help reduce climate change, you can cut down your CO2 emissions in your everyday life.
Here are some examples:
Cars and buses that run on petrol or diesel emit CO2. If you live only a short distance from school or work, you will emit less CO2 compared to if you drive long distances every day. Emissions will be even less if you opt for the train or bus rather than your car. And if you ride your bike or walk, you will not emit any CO2 at all. If you do have to drive, you will emit less if you drive a vehicle that uses the least amount of petrol per kilometer. You can also share rides with other people going in the same direction. The most polluting way to travel is by aeroplane, you emit far less CO2 if you travel long distances by train.
1.Travelling. The most polluting way to travel is by aeroplane. Photo: Corel Gallery.
If you save electricity, you reduce the need for energy from power plants that use coal, oil or natural gas. Even if you live somewhere where much of the electricity comes from hydroelectric power, windmills or nuclear reactors, saving electricity reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. This is because the power grid connects power plants and consumers in many countries.
When all of the consumers use less electricity, there is less need for power plants fired by coal, oil and natural gas. You can save electricity by, for example, replacing normal light bulbs with long-life light bulbs and turn off the lights every time you leave a room. You can also save electricity by completely turning off electric appliances – such as televisions, computers, and stereos – when you are not using them instead of leaving them in the stand-by mode.
2. Europe at night. How would this photo look if everybody simply turned off the light when they left a room? Photo: NASA
Goods and services
Most of the goods and services we buy contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. The richer we are, the more goods and services we tend to consume – and thus the more we emit. But some activities emit a lot, while other emit little. So there are a large number of choices you can make if you want to contribute to reducing emissions. For example, you can choose goods that are locally produced, which reduces the emissions associated with transportation.
About this page:
Author: Camilla Schreiner - CICERO (Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo) - Norway.
Scientific reviewers: Andreas Tjernshaugen - CICERO, Norway - 2004-01-20 and Dr. Knut Alfsen - Statistics Norway, Norway - 2003-09-12.
Educational reviewer: Nina Arnesen - Marienlyst School, Oslo, Norway - 2004-03-10.
Last update: 2004-03-27.