It may not be the Kyoto Protocol, but the 2004 Nanjing Declaration on Nitrogen Management guides nations in establishing sustainable uses of nitrogen, a potent fertilizer that's disrupting ecosystems worldwide.

Some of its recommendations to governments:

- Support research on the health and environmental consequences of excess nitrogen.

- Create policies for using fertilizer far more efficiently, as most of it is wasted.

- Support research for reducing nitrogen levels released during combustion of fossil fuels.

Simple steps to reduce your own "nitrogen footprint":

- Drive slower — higher speeds increase nitrogen emissions.

- Drive a fuel-efficient car.

- Eat less meat and animal products, as animal waste is a major contributor to nitrogen pollution.

Source: MediaNews Group research


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