The study “The Climate Mitigation Gap: Education and Government Recommendations Miss the Most Effective Individual Actions” considers a broad range of individual lifestyle choices and calculates their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries.
The authors have created the following info-graphic summarising the results. Source: “High-Impact Actions” (Kim Nicholas, 2017). See high resolution image here.
The lists of actions from the study are given below.
High Impact Actions
- Have one fewer child
- Live car free
- Reducing the equivalent of one round-trip transatlantic flight
- Purchase green energy
- Eat a plant-based diet
Moderate Impact Actions
- Home heating/cooling efficiency (e.g. wall insulation)
- Install solar panels/renewables (e.g. rooftop solar)
- Use public transportation, bike, walk
- Buy energy efficient products (e.g. Energy Star)
- Conserve energy (e.g. hang dry clothes, wash clothes in cold water)
- Reduce food waste
- Eat less meat
- Reduce consumption
- Reuse (e.g. reusable shopping bag)
- Eat local
Low Impact Actions
- Conserve water (e.g. run full dishwasher)
- Eliminate unnecessary travel
- Minimise waste
- Plant a tree
- Purchase carbon offsets
- Reduce lawn mowing (e.g. let lawn grow longer)
- Ecotourism (e.g. use eco-labelled accommodation)
- Keep backyard chickens
- Buy Eco-label products
- Calculate your home's footprint
Data from Wynes, Seth, and Kimberly A Nicholas. 2017. “The Climate Mitigation Gap: Education and Government Recommendations Miss the Most Effective Individual Actions.” Environmental Research Letters 12(7). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541. Image credit: Catrin Jakobsson.