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What Is Your Carbon Footprint?

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Discover how your daily actions create an effect on the environment

Almost everything you do has an impact on the world around you. Whether it is a small or large action, how you live your life adds up to produce your overall carbon footprint (your total effect on the environment).

How can you determine your carbon footprint? Evaluate the following list and give yourself one point for each item for which you currently participate.

Home recycling

Do you participate in home recycling? Give yourself one point for each item you recycle:

Shopping and purchasing

Are you eco-conscious when you shop? Give yourself one point for each action in which you participate:

Eating and dining

Are you conscious of what you are eating and where your food comes from? Give yourself one point for each action:

Energy efficiency

How much do you conserve energy? Give yourself one point for each action:

Transportation

How do you get around? Give yourself one point for each action:

In your spare time

What do you do for vacations and fun? Give yourself one point for each action you take:

What it means

Add up all your points. There are 30 points in all. Did you get at least 20 points? If not, don't be discouraged. According to the website www.conservation.org, every change you make can make a difference, no matter how small it seems.

To change your carbon footprint, consider setting environmental goals. Look at the above list and note what actions you are currently not participating in but could easily change. Set an annual goal to cut your carbon footprint in half by concentrating on the daily actions you can change. Some of the easiest changes to make in your life include your shopping habits. What items can you purchase locally? Hop on your bike, grab your shopping bag, and visit your local gardeners, farms and farmers and get to know the people who grow and sell food in your area. Not only will you help your local economy, but you'll have less impact on the environment and be eating healthier as well.

It may not be possible to lead a life entirely devoted to eco-consciousness. However, each little change does make a difference and can lead to a larger impact in the world around you.

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