While it is true that planting more trees will help in the short term because they essentially soak up carbon, they also release carbon dioxide when they die. So it just postpones the problem. But there are other reasons to plant trees—as wind breaks to save energy, and as shade to lower cooling costs. And even the short-term help while we get our act together is a good thing.
As for plants, do everything you can in your yard and garden to create ways in which plants use less water. Choose hardier plants, plant things in groups that need more water and put in mulch to help keep moisture in. When you mow your grass, make sure you do it smartly—with sharp blades, and only when the grass needs cutting. Finally, make sure you water your lawn sparingly. All of these will conserve energy.
7. Invest in green energy
Imagine if we ran out of fossil fuels tomorrow, what would we do? Well, we’d get our electricity from renewable sources—solar panels, geothermal and wind power sources. Many utilities now give consumers the option to buy “green power.” Ask for it!
Learn the truth about nuclear power and natural gas as viable “green” options. They aren’t. Radioactive waste will be a problem for tens of thousands of years into the future, and natural gas kicks out almost as much carbon dioxide as coal and oil. Natural gas can help us make a transition, but it isn’t the solution.
Finally, if you invest, invest in green stocks and renewable energy companies through socially responsible funds. They perform just as well (if not better) than all of the unfiltered funds.