You CAN HELP DEFEAT CLIMATE CHANGE by reducing your carbon footprint. This is the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases, released as a result of the things you do. It is the mark you make upon the planet—and the smaller it is, the better. Even little things make a difference if we all do them. Many have no effect on our lives except to save money, like switching off the light when leaving a room. Other decisions are harder, like avoiding flying or using public transportation instead of the car. One day we may have "carbon rationing"in which everyone gets a fair share of humanity's total carbon footprint. If this happens, we can each decide how to use our share. Until then, your wasteful neighbors may make your own efforts seem pointless. Do not let this put you off. Your planet needs you.
Cars are responsible for a lot of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change, so try to avoid using them. In particular, avoid asking to be taken on short car trips, because they use a lot more fuel per mile than long ones. Walk or use a bike, if the roads are safe. It will get you in shape, and can be a lot of fun. Catch a bus or a train for longer trips. Many public transportation companies offer discounts for young passengers that can make this a cheaper option than car travel. If the car is the only option, share it, or get a lift with a friend.
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