Some friendly things you can do right now to do your part:
- Buy a lot more unprocessed raw food locally, and prepare and cook it yourself. It isn't going to be as much of a range of foods as you're used to, but it will definitely make a difference.
Also, many people who buy processed food buy the same thing over and over anyway. Why not swap it for something local, homegrown, and homecooked? There's definitely a time problem if you have long workdays, but those long workdays are generally NOT helping the ecosystem, whereas looking after yourself does help. Paradox, huh?
- Plan shorter single-car mileages per week. The train/bus commute may not be as comfortable, but it IS better than doing all those miles in a car by yourself or carpooling with two other people instead of with (as in a bus) 90 people.
I'm all in favour of inner-city and high traffic density areas becoming Electric-Vehicle-Only areas, with petrol and diesel fuelled vehicle drivers having to pay a daily fee in order to drive in such zones. Fossil fuelled vehicles are not an option in densely trafficked areas.
- Try to grow some of your food yourself, using minimal processed fertilisers or soil conditioners.
That way you know what is in that food, beyond a doubt. Secondly, if you stick to natural soil fertilising and conditioning, you avoid much of the fertiliser pollution which plagues agricultural areas. Monoculture (growing large areas of the same variety) is the single biggest cause of outbreaks of pests that feed on that variety, and that in turn is the single biggest reason factory farms have to use so much pesticide.
- Try bringing up a few rabbits or chickens for the table.
Our diets require a certain amount of meat, but nowhere near as much as we do eat. And nothing - no amount of photos of piles of shrink-wrapped packages of the meat you consume every year - nothing at all, brings home the message of what meat really costs to produce in the way that raising, feeding, slaughtering, and then preparing your own meat animals does... I don't want to turn people vegetarian, but I do want to point out that farming many animals in a monoculture creates the same problems as with food crops, of needing strong chemical means to get rid of the pests that converge and become a plague.