While there are many steps that government can take to help combat global warming, About.com details 10 practices that individuals and households can adopt in order to reduce the amount of carbon they put into the atmosphere. These steps include changing over from conventional light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, finding ways to drive less and making sure that one's household is recycling properly.
Keeping a car's tires properly inflated can increase gas mileage by more than 3 percent, keeping about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air every year, writes Larry West for About.com. Using less hot water by taking shorter showers and using cold water to wash clothes can keep up to 500 pounds of carbon monoxide, or CO2, out of the air. Avoiding products with a lot of packaging can drastically reduce the amount of garbage an individual produces, further reducing the person's carbon footprint. Adjusting the household thermostat down by 2 degrees in winter and up by 2 degrees in summer could save up to 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year. Likewise, turning off electrical devices when not in use saves hundreds of dollars in electricity costs and thousands of pounds of CO2. Finally, by planting just one tree, one can help take up to a ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the course of that tree's life.