Carbon Emissions From Everyday Things: The Effects of Your Lifestyle

Written by
Poppy Stringer
5
min read
June 18, 2022

Your everyday lifestyle has a direct impact on the carbon emissions of your life. In other words, the way you live can either exacerbate global warming or work to reduce it. Not only that, but every single person has control over the impact their lifestyle has on global warming. You might be surprised by just how much of an impact your day-to-day decisions can have. The small details like what you eat and drink, where you live and even how you get around all have a huge effect on the world we live in today. 

What Two Foods Are the Major Source of Carbon Emissions?

Food is a major source of carbon emissions, different foods cause different amounts of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere, and the foods with the highest amounts are 1. meat and 2. dairy. 

These two foods account for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation. 

Grazing animals require a lot of land which is often cleared through deforestation, which accounts for 15% of global GHG emissions, and livestock also produce large quantities of methane. 

The difference in emissions between meat and plant production is drastic and to produce 1kg of wheat, 2.5kg of GHG gases are emitted and one single kilo of beef creates 70kg of emissions, meaning that if you have a more plant based diet your everyday carbon footprint will be lower. 

Of the meats, beef has the largest carbon footprint with an average serving emitting 7kg of Greenhouse gases, whereas plant based protein such as tofu have a very low impact on the environment, releasing less than 1kg of GHG per serving. Milk releases around 3.15kg of GHG emissions per litre, making dairy products the third highest carbon emitter. Plant based milks such as almond milk only emit 0.7kg of carbon per litre, which dwarves the amount emitted during normal milk production. 

carbon emissions of foods

Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by two thirds, according to an Oxford Study published in Journal Science. So if you are trying to reduce your everyday impact on the environment  look to eat less meat and dairy and if you do consume these foods try to buy them locally sourced and throw less away. 

What Transport Accounts for The Highest Carbon Emissions? 

Transport accounts for one fifth of global CO2 emissions, these emissions mainly come from burning fossil fuels for our cars, planes, ships and trains. 

The average passenger car emits 300g of C02 per mile which equates to on average 4.6 metric tons of CO2  per year. 

In comparison Trains, according to the European Environment Agency account for only 14 g of C02 emissions per passenger mile, which is dwarfed by the 0.3kg per passenger mile of cars. Travelling by train lessens your daily impact on the environment.  

That is until you start car-sharing?

If 2 or 3 people share a car it begins to become as efficient if not more efficient. 

Although flying is not usually a daily activity, its impact on the environment is astounding. A short haul flight generates 115g of carbon per mile, and the average short haul flight is 700 miles, meaning that a huge amount of carbon is released into the atmosphere with every flight. 

iIn round terms 

Short Haul Return = 80.5kg of CO2 

Long Haul Return = 500kg of C02

 To reduce your daily or even yearly carbon footprint you can offset your travel, at SKOOT you can offset flights, rail travel and taxi travel. 

carbon footprint of different modes of transport

Which Home & Living Conditions Count?

The amount of CO2 that is emitted from your home and the way you live there is surprisingly high. 

This is because energy use in our homes is responsible for a significant portion of CO2 emissions. This includes consumption habits like heating, cooling and lighting, as well as emissions created during the manufacturing of home appliances. According to the UN residential properties are responsible for 17-21% of energy related carbon emissions globally. 

Did you know streaming just 30 minutes of Netflix releases 18g of CO2?

But don't fear, home living is one of the easiest areas to reduce your carbon emissions. Start by switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Make sure you're not wasting energy in your home, either by unplugging things when you're not using them or turning off the lights. Installing things such as triple glazing can keep heat generated inside the house Finally, look into renewable energy options where you live, these include; 

  • Solar power

This converts direct sunlight into energy, it is the most common form of renewable energy and the technology is easily available.  

  • Wind energy

Converts kinetic energy into mechanical energy that is then harnessed into your home systems. 

  • Hydroelectric systems 

This uses water flowing downhill to generate electricity, you can harness the electricity from a large scale power plant or a small scale one installed in your home. 

By making small changes to your daily life, you can easily reduce the amount of carbon emissions in your life. 

Visit SKOOT.eco to begin reducing your carbon footprint. 

Poppy Stringer

A Gen Z, who helps keep us all grounded with her passion for change now, not tomorrow. Someone who is just embarking on her career, who helps us create our interesting and thought provoking content, alongside helping with customer support. A true digital native.