Four ways to cut your carbon emissions

Family cycling down a road

Making cleaner, greener choices — such as choosing better transportation methods, like walking and cycling — can benefit you and nature.

We produce emissions from greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and others) — a major contributor to the global climate emergency — when we burn fossil fuels (oil, gas or coal). To meet climate targets, we need to drastically cut our emissions.

Individual lifestyle changes alone won’t solve the crisis — we need bold political action at all levels of government. But the changes we make to cut emissions in our lives makes a difference, and our actions can influence friends, family, co-workers and community members. It all adds up.

Here are the top four sources of emissions for the average person in Canada and some tips for cutting them:

How to cut your carbon emissions

Person riding an orange bicycle

1. Make better transportation choices

About 24 per cent of Canada’s emissions come from transportation, and cars and trucks powered by fossil fuels are the biggest polluters. People in Canada have bought so many SUVs and light trucks, ours is the world’s least-efficient personal vehicle fleet!

Fresh food and vegetables

2. Make better food choices

Our food system — including how we raise and harvest the plants and animals we eat, and how we process, package and ship them — is another significant contributor to climate change.

Indoor thermostat

3. Make better energy choices

Canada is the top per-capita energy consumer in the world.

Your home electricity emissions depend on your province’s energy grid (e.g., those burning coal, such as Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, have higher GHG emissions than provinces that use hydroelectricity).

A climate-friendly home means transitioning away from fossil fuels. Start by advocating for clean energy options and working to make your home as energy efficient as possible. That way, you can reduce your carbon emissions, save money and contribute to a livable climate.

An assortment of garments at a clothing swap.

4. Make better purchasing choices

Goods and services all generate emissions, through production, transportation and disposal. When we consume less, we produce fewer emissions.

Remember: these individual lifestyle changes are just a few of the ways you can help avert the worst effects of climate change. Having conversations about the crisis with people in your life, working on solutions together in community, supporting Indigenous-led action, urging government to take bold action, and getting politically active and voting are also important.