In a country like the United States, reducing your carbon footprint to zero is pretty difficult. If you lived in a house powered completely by renewable energy such as wind and solar power, and drove a plug-in electric car that you also charged with electricity from renewable power, you could come pretty close. But even then, there would be the impact of your food consumption to consider; buying locally produced, organic food certainly helps, but almost all agriculture has some kind of carbon impact. Also, anything else you buy was probably made in a factory powered partly by burning coal or other fossil fuels. Rather than despair at the difficulty of living without a carbon footprint, though, a better response is to simply take care of the big things (drive less, use energy efficient appliances, and choose sustainable food options), and then spend your time working to change our society so it is no longer powered by fossil fuels, and living without a carbon footprint becomes much easier. You can write letters to your elected officials, volunteer for an environmental organization working to reduce our fossil fuel reliance, or even get involved in local politics. Once our society as a whole makes the choice to stop burning fossil fuels for power, and replace our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas with renewable energy, then living without a carbon footprint will become genuinely possible.
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