The greatest long-term personal contribution that most people can make to sustainability is to refrain from having an unsustainable number of children, as explained in making the case for smaller families.
Nevertheless, the world is already very crowded and many resources on which we depend are becoming increasingly scarce. Although Population Matters’ main focus is on the effect of human numbers, we also recognise the need to start reducing human impact on the environment as widely and as soon as possible. This means that those of us already enjoying high standards of living – the wealthy minority in developing countries and the majority of the population in the wealthier developed countries – need to take immediate action to reduce our ‘footprint’ on the planet.
The list below summarises a number of things that individuals can do. Some are simple and relatively painless, others are more difficult and require a greater level of commitment