New year, new you! It’s a wonderful opportunity to start making some changes that are great for the planet, and for you –

1. Change Your Commuting Habits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that transportation contributes 28 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, one of the main culprits behind global warming. The easiest solution, depending on where you live, is to take public transportation whenever possible. Alternatively, walking and biking are not only beneficial to the environment, but also beneficial to your health.

Next Level: Drive an Electric Car

Gas-fueled cars rely on fossil fuels, which are notorious for releasing carbon dioxide into the air. Hybrid cars are a slightly better option as they’re more fuel efficient, but they still rely on gas. Since electric cars eliminate the need for gas, they don’t release harmful emissions, and are the best option at the moment.

2. Reduce Meat and Dairy Consumption

The process involved in producing dairy and meat, especially red meat, takes a much larger toll on the environment than a plant-based diet. In addition to taxing farmland and the water supply, the meat and dairy industries release a large number of fossil fuels into the environment. Besides reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat, consider the environmental impact of say, chicken versus beef. And if you can’t imagine eliminating meat and dairy, at least eat locally and organic whenever possible.

Next Level: Switch to a Plant-Based Diet

A recent study claims that going plant-based could reduce U.S. emissions by as much as 73 percent. Plus, meat alternatives, like the Beyond Burger, now taste better than ever. Just note that alternative milks, like almond, may sound like a good idea, until you realize how much water is required to produce them.

Source: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Now – EcoWatch