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The greenhouse gas emissions we produce are contributing to a glut of carbon dioxide, but that carbon footprint is largely determined by lifestyle choices we make, and scientists tell us we can help improve the atmosphere by making some small but mighty changes.

From BlueandGreenTomorrow.com, here are five simple changes to contemplate:

Change how you get around. Whenever possible, ditch your car and walk or bicycle to your destination. Carpool if you can, and when you do take the car, plan your errands to combine several in one trip.

Conserve water. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, wash only full loads of dishes and laundry, and be sure to turn off faucets and showers completely after use. Water your grounds a little less often and fix any leaky pipes or faucets. Make every drop of water count.

Reduce energy use. Switch off lights when they are not needed. Turn off and unplug televisions, cable boxes, game consoles, and computers when not in use, and be sure to switch out light bulbs for LEDs, which use less energy but deliver the same amount of light.

Recycle and repurpose. Make recycling a habit. Reuse glass jars, plastic bags and containers, even cardboard boxes. Separate aluminum cans, steel cans, newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles and other recyclables from garbage. Donate gently used clothing and other items so others can use them. Check websites like Pinterest for clever repurposing ideas.

Choose organic. Eat wisely and do the Earth a favor. Buy locally grown, organic food items grown without chemicals. Plant fruit trees and grow some veggies if you can, because the transport and storage of food contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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