4. GREEN YOUR RIDE
According to the EPA, the average passenger vehicle produces 5.2 metric tons of CO2 every year, and the transportation sector accounts for 27 percent of America's greenhouse gas emissions. One way to cut this figure down is to kick car culture to the curb and walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. If you don't have a bike and you want one, you're in luck - today Inhabitat is giving away an awesome Linus Bicycle to the reader who comes up with the best Earth Day resolution!
If you live far from your work then consider carpooling or taking public transportation. Car sharing networks like Zipcar and Autolib are also taking off around the world, so check to see if any serve your community.
1. GO VEGETARIAN
The amount of greenhouse gas produced by the livestock industry is staggering – the Worldwatch Institute estimates that meat and dairy production accounts for 51% of the world’s total emissions once you factor in livestock respiration, land use, methane production, and a whole range of other figures. Faced with this statistic, it’s pretty easy to see how cutting meat out of your diet can reduce your carbon footprint. It’s also important to consider the distance that food travels to your plate, so consider buying locally produced, minimally packaged produce at farmers markets – you can even check to see if any nearby farms offer a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) box.
2. PLANT A TREE
Simple though it may sound, planting a tree is one of the cheapest and most effective means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. A single tree is capable of absorbing 48 pounds of CO2 each year while producing enough fresh oxygen for 2 people. Trees also remove airborne pollutants like sulfur dioxide from burning coal, nitrogen oxides from auto emissions, and other particulates, making them a great boon in urban environments. Finally, planting a tree near your house can actually improve your home’s energy efficiency – trees provide shade during hot summer days, and during the winter they lose their leaves, allowing sunlight and warmth to stream in through your windows.