By Don Ford

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — For many, recent wildfires and last week’s orange skies above the Bay Area were a wake-up call when it comes to climate change.

We usually think of battling climate change in the macro, changing giant industries or relying on government to slay the dragon. But what can you, as an individual, do to help?

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Dr. Arlene Blum is a Biophysical Chemist, Author, and Director Of The Green Science Policy Institute. For Blum, using less is more.

“Enjoy the things you have but you don’t need so many,” Blum said “You don’t need some many cars; you don’t need so many airplane rides. You don’t need such a big house.”

Other ways to help reduce your carbon footprint is to take public transit instead of sitting in traffic. Planting your own gardens may seem like a small thing to do, considering the global issue but, every effort helps.

Customers at a Berkeley supermarket were concerned, but acknowledged reducing one’s carbon footprint is not always easy.

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“I think on an individual level, it’s hard because some folks have to drive,” Marion Berge said.

Jared Colster, another customer, said, “I love to shop here, you know but, look how much plastic just for this package of meat.”

In Berkeley, there were no shortage of strong opinions. Cat Adams says family planning is needed.

“You can encourage people to not have children. That’s one of the biggest things you can do to mitigate climate change but, you can’t actually tell people to not have kids,” Adams said. “Like it’s, we’re human.”

Blum says another way to help the climate is buying used instead of new.

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“I really like to go to used clothing stores. You actually get a whole selection of things over decades. So much more interesting, and you save a lot of money! I hate to buy new things,” Blum said.