Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Daehler said that his individual contribution to reducing greenhouse gas pollution is small, but has begun to see anecdotal evidence that people are changing their ways.

"Is one person making a little bit of an impact when there's five billion people in the world? It seems insignificant," he said. "But what you find is, the more people you touch, and give the word to and talk to, the more it moves.

"When I first bought my first hybrid three years ago," Daehler adds, "no one I knew had one. And within six months, I had four or five friends sell their trucks and SUVs and purchase hybrids. Now I can name a dozen friends who have hybrids. So you start to see a cumulative effect."

But even reducing your footprint to zero and living a so-called carbon neutral life may not be enough, said the NRDC's Steelman.

"You can take yourself out of the equation," he said. "But that doesn't change that coal plant into a clean power generation plant. So, in addition to making changes in your own life, it's holding politicians accountable and raising your political voice to solve the problem."

But Tony Napolillo said he won't wait for politicians to act.

"Everybody has to realize they have personal responsibility," he said. "They can't just wait for the government or the corporate world to do something about it. If everybody could strive to be carbon neutral, this would be a greater world."

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