The most impactful changes you can make as a family to reduce your harm to the environment:
1) Trade in the gas-guzzling SUV for an electric vehicle.
2) Eat meat less often.
3) Use smart thermostats and set the temperature 2 degrees warmer in the summer and 2 degrees colder in the winter.
4) Install energy efficient light bulbs throughout the house.
5) Consider installing solar or buying electricity from sustainable sources.
But I'm just one person, does it really matter?
YES! The carbon footprint of just one person is mind-boggling! Especially here in the US where each of us contributes approximately 19 tons of greenhouse gases per year!
It is easy to feel like if you're not a CEO of a large company or a policy making politician, then you don't matter. But remember that the micro dictates the macro. You changing your habits has the ability change those around you, and consumers and voters can dictate the direction that companies and politicians move. Remember the ripple effect of your social circle. How many TV shows have you checked out because a friend told you about them? The same is true for making changes to protect the health of our children's futures. The more we discuss it with our friends and family, the greater the chance that you can multiply your efforts.