As the world struggles to limit future global warming to below 2°c, now is the time for everyone to be part of it to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. But even on a personal level, we all make a daily environmental impact. We can change our elections relatively quickly, and society can spread it as widely accepted behavior.
With this idea, two researchers from Lund University in Sweden and the University of British Columbia in Canada began analyzing “a comprehensive package of lifestyle preferences to identify those with the potential to reduce individual greenhouse gas emissions.” They looked at 39 peer-reviewed reviews, government reports and online tools to make these lifestyle choices.
According to their analysis, the 4 things that will have the greatest impact on your personal emissions: getting rid of your car, avoiding air travel, switching to a herbal-based method, and finally having fewer children in the most radical way. Measured in tons of Co2’s equivalent emissions (tCo2e), these lifestyle changes have the potential to reduce “little things” more than to reduce our personal carbon footprints, replace bright bulbs with long-lasting.
The team’s data shows that if you stop eating meat for a year, your individual carbon footprint can reduce 820 kilograms from CO, which is on average four times more effective than recycling. According to the team’s work; “Serious behavioral change is possible; there is evidence that younger generations are willing to part ways sensitive to the environment from their current lifestyles.”
Our small daily contributions to sustainability are certainly valuable as long as they are added to it, but research shows that on a more effective level of these, environmentally friendly choices do not require a “positive spread.” In other words, many people who separate their recycling also drive cars filled with large gasoline. But the team argues that if we make greater sacrifices for the sake of the planet, there are more possibilities to change social norms as a whole.