Each and every one of us is responsible for the greenhouse gases we emit in our daily actions and choices. Therefore, combating climate change is going to take the combined efforts of everyone on the planet.
The average household carbon footprint in China is 2.41 tons of carbon dioxide annually. That's enough to fill half an Olympic swimming pool.
Surprised? Well, here's how you can work to reduce it:
1. Take showers rather than baths and reduce your shower time by two minutes. This will save water and give you an extra two minutes in bed.
2. Don't purchase unnecessary clothes, and be careful about the materials you buy. Wool and cotton fabrics have a really high greenhouse gas impact. Manmade fibers such as polyester are a better choice.
3. There's no point having the heat up high while the wind's blowing in under the door or sneaking in through the window. Reseal all window frames to keep the heat in.
4. Try to buy high-quality, long-lasting products even though they may cost a little more. A laptop is more efficient than a desktop, and a small screen TV is better than a big flat-screen.
5. Only turn the water heater on when necessary, and adjust temperature controls to avoid overheating. Put a lid on a pan when boiling water.
6. When using the washing machine, be sure there's a full load and turn the temperature down if it's not really grubby.
7. The greediest home device along with the washing machine is the fridge. Make sure it's as efficient as possible by keeping it out of direct sunlight and away from the oven or heater. Don't put food in when it's still warm.
8. This is obvious, but essential: switch off all appliances when you're not using them. This includes lights.
9. Conserve energy by using efficient light bulbs. They use about one-third of the energy of normal bulbs and last 10 times as long.
10. Only print things out when necessary, and print double-sided and reduce the margins.
11. Take your own mug and cutlery to work. This saves throwing away disposable cups and containers--but that could be outweighed by washing your cutlery. So, pay attention to how you use water when washing your dishes.
12. Find out what the recycling options are in your area. Then make sure you keep items such as paper and plastic bottles separate so that they can be recycled. There are places where you can recycle electronic appliances and batteries. Make sure you find them.
13. Look for reusable, recyclable, biodegradable items and remember to carry your reusable shopping bags!
14. Each week, choose one day when you don't eat meat. Meat uses up lots of energy because it takes a long time to produce.
15. Only buy the amount of food you need and if there are leftovers, get creative. For instance, make them into a soup. Ask to take food home from restaurants if there's some left, but remember to take your own container to avoid using a disposable carton.
16. Food production eats up lots of energy. When you buy food, go local rather than imported, and get fresh vegetables instead of frozen.