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Climate change is a global problem, so many people feel powerless to do anything about it. But research shows individual actions add up.

“We estimate between 25 and 30% of the total potential emissions reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change … can be addressed at global scale over the next 30 years by individuals and households,” says Chad Frischmann of Drawdown Solutions, a research division of the nonprofit Project Drawdown.

His group evaluates the potential impact of various climate solutions. And he says there are many that individuals and households can take action on, like eating more plant-rich meals, reducing the gas and electricity they use, or installing solar.

Frischmann says making these changes can inspire others to do the same. And it signals to companies that consumers want climate-friendly options.

But consumers’ choices are often limited by what’s available and affordable to them. And the majority of global emissions are caused by industry.

“So there’s a lot of power that individuals and households have, but at the end of the day, it’s business that has to change,” Frischmann says. “And its policymakers that have to change to make that all happen.”

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media