Realistically, there are a number of things I could do that would help, including
1. Improving my home infrastructure - installing new insulation to reduce heat loss, installing a water barrel to use stored water for gardening, and so on. These things are on my list, but I won't be doing them right away because I have more pressing problems in a leaky basement that needs to be dealt with, first. Installing solar panels on the roof fit into this category already.
2. Buying an electric car. Having no car would be better, but I need a car for work. As it is, though, I live very close to my office, so I can walk or bike to work, which cuts down on the driving significantly. I drive a fuel-efficient car and only fill up about once a month on average, even with the driving I need to do for work and the occasional road trip. When I next buy a car, chances are it will be electric. But I don't need to buy a car right now.
3. Fly less. Realistically, I don't need to take vacations to exotic places. But I love to explore the world. My motives are selfish, but I'm not quite ready to take this step. But seriously, there's nothing really preventing me from taking this step apart from making a mental adjustment. This is a difficult one.
Low consumer goods consumption, and willing to spend more on products that last, rather than products that are cheap.
Eat locally grown produce, generally.
Moving to vegetarianism. Not fully vegan yet, but have greatly reduced meat and by-products intake.
Live close to work for no emissions commute.
Live somewhere that's still below its carrying capacity (though I wonder if were getting close).
But I frankly wonder if anything I do will really make a difference. My footprint is already pretty small - that's obvious when I drive around and see fleets of commercial vehicles, transport trucks, malls, warehouses, light industry. All that stuff is owned by someone, and those are the people that most need to effect change. I don't see it happening in any hurry.
The conservative party is back in power in the Province of Ontario and fighting the federal, Liberal, government all the way on climate change. In spite of what we read, there just isn't enough broad support for climate action across the province. Most of the climate oriented thought seems to be coming from the cities, but the cities aren't enough to swing the vote. In the last election, Toronto and most other urban ridings voted for Liberal (the centre party) or NDP (the leftmost major party), but all the rural ridings went Conservative, and they wone the vote. There's little we can do to in cities to swing their votes - for years, we've been discredited for being 'urban elites', our ideas, education, and yes, research, made worthless. There's too much ready belief that environmental policy exists only to 'buy votes' and is a waste of money tax-payer money. I think change will come, but it will take the swing of another generation, which as we all know may be too late. Many of the big ideas (like getting rid of GDP as a measure of economic health, and hence of policy-making) have been around since I was a student in the early 90s. Now, nearly 30 years later, nothing has changed. What hope do we have for rapid change in the next ten? It'll take something big for that to happen - something big and obvious. Or maybe there will be a sea change with the next generation.
I see the future as a kind of bus station, and there are a bunch of busses hurtling toward the station at the same time. There's the electrification bus, which will greatly reduce emissions. There's the technological singularity bus, which will allow us to leave our physical selves behind for good. There's the anti-aging bus, which will see us live longer, perhaps at the expense of children. There's the automation bus, which will put many of us out of work - it might be a boon or a disaster - maybe both, one after the other. There's the climate change bus, which will bring mass migrations from the poorer countries (already started). And there's the extinction bus, which threatens to destroy our systems in ways we can really understand. Which bus will get here first, I'm not sure. And hopefully some of the busses will get here before the others, so at least we can tell the climate change and the extinction busses we already have a ride, and they can turn around and go back where they came from. Or maybe all the busses will arrive, but most of us will have left the station by the time they do.