Consuming Less main content.

Consuming Less

Part of the Climate Change exhibition.

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Reusable grocery bag.
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One way to help the environment is to go digital for everything from news to banking.
iStockphotos

Purchasing fewer new products

From carpets to computers, T-shirts to TVs, manufacturing new products emits CO2. Extending the lives of existing goods reduces the need for manufacturing new ones.

Learning more about products

In England, some grocery items are now labeled with their "carbon footprints."

Choosing energy-efficient industries

Buying certified carbon offsets

Balance carbon emissions by purchasing offsets that go to efforts like planting trees or investing in alternative energy.

Using certified wood products

Furniture, veneers, flooring, and lumber from unmanaged tropical rain forests contributes to deforestation.

Choosing recycled goods

Recycled content is usually listed on the package of office paper, tissues, paper towels, etc.

Reducing garbage

Recycling more

In 2006, the U.S. recycled about 40 percent of packaging materials, saving 108 million metric tons of CO2 -equivalent emissions.

Reducing incoming catalogs and junk mail

Going digital for everything from the news to banking

For example, if every U.S. household viewed and paid its bills online, solid waste would be cut by 1.4 billion metric tons and greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 1.9 million metric tons each year.

Bringing your own bags

Preferably fabric bags or reusable plastic ones, since producing 10,000 plastic bags emits about 19 metric tons of CO2.