There is no one-size-fits-all approach to stopping or slowing global warming, and each individual, business, municipal, state, tribal, and the federal entity must weigh their options in light of their own unique set of circumstances. Experts say it is likely many strategies working together will be needed. Generally speaking, here are some examples of mitigation strategies we can use to slow or stop human-caused global warming.
The best global warming solutions.
To figure out the most impactful global warming solutions, we looked into the behaviors that have the highest impact on the biggest causes. For example, we asked: What is the most impactful way for individuals to cut down electricity usage? And while things like composting, smart thermostats, and recycling help our planet, they do not address the biggest sources of global warming as much as other solutions do.
We also asked: Which of these high-impact solutions are realistic for individuals to implement, right now? While there are some super impactful solutions that aren’t on this list, such as wind turbines, solar farms, and regenerative agriculture, we purposely omitted them because they’re impossible to implement at an individual level.
While you’d ideally implement all of the following solutions, the truth is, it’s difficult to live a life optimized for sustainability. Maybe driving a car is the only way you can get to work, or it’s too difficult for you to lower your heating bill in the winter.
That’s okay. Not everyone can do everything- the most important thing is that we all do the most we can to help save our earth. So here’s a toolbox of the most impactful solutions for global warming (in no particular order) that you can do, today – and can pick and choose as you see fit:
Tree roots grow deep into the soil, holding it firmly in place, and help to prevent soil erosion, especially when growing on hillsides and other steep terrain. As most of us learned in school, trees and other green plants take in carbon dioxide that humans and other organisms produce. Without trees, the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be even higher than they are now. Through photosynthesis, trees produce oxygen that humans and many other organisms depend on to live. Planted strategically, trees on a property near homes and other buildings can help to block wind and create shade. This helps to reduce the need for heating in the winter, and the need for cooling in the summer.
Create more sustainable transportation habits.
Instead of ordering a private ride, do a rideshare. Avoid rapid acceleration and braking, and turn on cruise control on longer trips. Walk and bike to your destination whenever possible. When buying a new car, choose a climate-friendly option (here’s a good tool to find a climate-friendly car). If you refrain from harsh braking and rapid acceleration, you can cut your fuel consumption by as much as 40%, according to the US Department of Energy. If you also keep your tires inflated and car maintained, you’ll cut your fuel consumption by nearly half when driving.
Lower your heating bill.
Let’s do some detective work here. Ready? It’s time to hunt down those annoying air leaks. Check out your walls, windows, ceilings, doors, light fixtures, outlets and switches for any escaping air. Look for things like holes, gaps and weather stripping that’s falling apart. When giving your windows the once-over, you can even do the ol’ candle test. All you have to do is light a candle and hold the flame near the windows (but don’t burn down the curtains!). If you see the flame flicker, it could mean there’s an air leak. Making small changes on the thermostat can make a big difference in lowering your heating bill.
You can save as much as 10% a year if you drop your thermostat down 7–10 degrees for eight hours a day.2 Going to be at work all day? Turn down the thermostat. Gone all day for a soccer tournament? Turn down the thermostat. Headed out of town for the weekend? You guessed it—turn down the thermostat. All of this back and forth might get on your nerves after a while (we don’t blame you).
So if you want to make your life a lot easier, invest in a smart thermostat. You can program it to make the changes for you (some even let you control them from an app). And you know what? They’re not super pricey either. Just make sure you budget for the new thermostat if it’s something you want to add to your home.
Advocate for a healthy planet.
Support climate legislation by doing one or more of these things: Send a letter to party leaders and candidates telling them your vote depends on their stance on global warming. Volunteer for a candidate that supports efforts to stop global warming. Talk to friends and family about the importance of voting for climate action. Write a letter to your elected leaders to support and implement a set of climate solutions,
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