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What are the most effective ways that an individual can reduce his or her carbon footprint?
Please support with facts why these would be most effective.
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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.

Personal choices to reduce your contribution to climate change

 

The lists of actions from the study are given below.

High Impact Actions

  • Have fewer children
  • Live car free
  • Avoid flights
  • 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)
  • Recycle
  • Eat local

Low Impact Actions

  • Conserve water (e.g. run full dishwasher)
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel
  • Minimise waste
  • Plant a tree
  • Compost
  • 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.

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According to recent research by Universities in Sweden and Canada the five best ways to help slow down climate change is to 1) have fewer children, 2) live car free, 2) avoid flying, 3) buy green energy, 4) eat a plant based diet

Elaine

Infographic available here - https://grist.org/briefly/groundbreaking-study-outlines-what-you-can-do-about-climate-change/
Original Report here - http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541/meta
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