The first and foremost thing anyone can do to decrease global warming is to be aware.
It is easier to change a light bulb than to change a mind, but it is the mind which we must change if we are to become fully awake within our scope of influence. So, do change to compact fluorescent bulbs, but more importantly, think about it. Then, talk about it.
Buy less stuff. Consume less power. Spend time, not money on others. Drive more efficiently. Turn off what you are not immediately working with. Walk outside and see the sky, trees, animals, and everything you deem worthy of protecting.
Make a household competition as to who can use less electricity, power, plastic, and more. Look at the number of objects you touch in a day, and think about from not only where they came, but from where they will go when you are done with them.
You will find ways to turn off the television and computer more often. You will drip dry clothes rather than using money and power sucking electric dryers. You will seal leaks in walls, wires, and widgets. You will save more heat, electricity, and water.
Be aware every time you buy something that there are real resources behind that purchase. These include destruction of some eco system for collection of the raw materials, mining, refinement, energy use, water use, and transport, packaging, marketing, and much, much more. We have sealed ourselves indoors and do not like to think about all our "stuff" and its origins.
Think of your paper cup as a deforestation product. Think of the paper wasted at home, office, kitchen and more. Never buy paper towels again. Does it make sense at all to waste your money on paper towels, (or disposable cleaning products of any kind) while hundreds of thousands of t-shirts go into the land fills every day? Use color fabrics for the dirty jobs, and white or light fabrics (linens) for the more “sanitary” jobs. Doing this ensures you never have to spend your hard earned money on deforestation products again! You will find your creativity is intrigued into wanting to save even more.
Think differently. Think of yourself as the middle person in a stream of matter into consumption into waste stream. This will help you feel better about all the ways you learn you can lighten your load, live with less, and connect more to a meaningful life.
When we think about these things with awareness two important factors arise. Number one is you are bound to be more grateful, and more alert and aligned to what must die that you might live. Number two, you will automatically turn that appreciation into more considerate consumption of all that the earth provides.
This is not dismal, and guilt ridden angst. This is truth. We make garbage and garbage is bad for our planetary home. When we realize we have the power to reduce this garbage; we take control of our lives. There is a great difference between despair and power.
We are in need of the latter, not the hand wringing despair of giving up.
Be it toxic fumes, CO2, heavy metals, feed lot run off, plastic bags or bits in trees and ocean, we create toxins that pollute our air, water, soil and food streams. It is time to realize that we have alienated ourselves from the outer natural world, and our garbage mentality has hurt our relationship to one another, and to our home. Think. It will change your world.