How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Get a breakdown of climate consequences of the purchasing decisions you make every day.

Reduce Carbon Emissions
“Cooler Smarter,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists, is an empowering guide that shows which changes in our lifestyles will make the biggest difference to the climate.
Cover Courtesy Island Press
Breakdown of Emissions from Stuff You Buy
This chart provides a breakdown of the emissions associated with some of the goods and services you purchase. Source: UCS modeling.
Chart Courtesy Island Press
Emissions from Stuff You Buy
The goods and services you purchase account for more than one-quarter of your emissions, or more than five tons annually for the average American. Source: UCS modeling.
Chart Courtesy Island Press
Emissions Per Dollar Spent
This graph shows global warming emissions created per dollar spent in various categories. Ranked in this way, water and sewage together make up our most carbon-intensive expenditure. Source: UCS modeling.
Chart Courtesy Island Press
Pounds of CO2 Saved From Recycling
Each pound of waste you recycle keeps more than twice its weight in CO2e emissions out of the atmosphere. This graph shows the emissions saved by recycling one pound of material, as considered from a life cycle perspective, including reductions in the need for virgin materials and avoidance of potential methane emissions from disposal in a landfill.
Chart Courtesy Island Press

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