Low Carbon Lifestyles

Decarbonization Avenue : Low Carbon Lifestyles

Modern lifestyles have evolved without giving much thought to the environment and as a result, a large number of our habits and lifestyle activities generate significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions - directly and indirectly. Changing our lifestyles and aligning them to low carbon activities and processes can have significant positive effects on global decarbonization.

For instance, while people in the developed countries might consider a clothes dryer as an indispensable necessity, they will be surprised to know that almost 80% of the world’s population sun dry their clothes. While many of us wash our clothes after we have worn them once, specifications for many pieces of apparel suggest that they can be worn more than once - some up to 5 times - before they need to be washed. While the growth of consumerism and e-commerce seem to be making people purchase a large number of things that they will rarely use, concepts such as minimalism have been quite prominent in countries such as Japan. 

We - especially those in the “developed” world - may have to unlearn some of the processes and habits that we have been using. In fact, it will be valuable for people in the developed economies to just watch how their counterparts in poorer countries live, eat, clothe, travel and entertain themselves! That alone may highlight the difference between need and greed.

Given the level of awareness about climate change and the realization amongst many of us that something needs to change, we can expect diverse, impactful changes in people’s lifestyles worldwide for the 2020-2030 period. Some prominent domains in which impactful innovations and changes are expected are: apparel use & maintenance, mobility, CO2 footprint intelligence, and building energy efficiency.

Decarbonization potential

US residences consume about 1400 TWh of electricity, and those from the UK about 110 TWh. Globally, the residential sector consumes about 4500 TWh of electricity, which translates to about 2 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Of this, residential air conditioning alone globally consumes energy enough to produce about 250 million tons. Changes in end user habits in using energy intensive appliances can bring about significant reductions in these emissions.

Close to 100 million tons of textile & apparel waste are generated each year, with only a small percentage recycled. A single cotton T shirt emits about 2.5 Kg of CO2 over its production and use cycle. If clothes are used twice as long, that alone has the potential to significantly bring down global CO2 emissions, once again showing the emissions reduction potential possible with lifestyle changes, especially in the developed world.

Industries impacted

  • Airlines & aviation
  • Automobiles & auto components
  • Internet & online solutions
  • Construction & real estate
  • Fast moving consumer goods
  • Electronics & semiconductors
  • Food & beverages
  • Gems & jewelry
  • Livestock
  • Oil & gas
  • Packaging & plastics
  • Power
  • Printing & publishing
  • Paper & forest products
  • Road transport
  • Textile & apparel
  • Trading & distribution

Latest News on Low Carbon Lifestyles

Themes & Topics

  • Home & garden

    • Furniture and home accessories

    • Home design

    • Garden & landscape

    • Green roofs

  • Apparel

    • Clothes & fashion

    • Washing & drying

  • Food

    • Cooking

    • Food waste reduction

    • Water conservation

  • Comfort

    • Home heating & cooling

    • Insulation materials

    • Home ventilation

    • Residential renewable energy solutions

    • Use of passive energy sources

  • Approaches

    • Minimalism and avoiding waste

    • Effective learning for leading a sustainable lifestyle

    • Making sustainable lifestyles fun and enriching

    • Ethical consumerism

    • Adopting “sharing economy” practices

    • Adopting community collaboration practices

    • Enabling children learn sustainable habits

  • Entertainment

    • Travel

    • Holiday habits

    • Shopping habits

    • Sustainable leisure activities

    • Sustainable events & parties

  • Resource efficiency & waste management

    • Composting

    • Reuse

    • Recycling & upcycling

    • Reducing use of plastics

    • Packaging

  • Low carbon lifestyles for:

    • Busy professionals

    • Home makers

    • Seniors

    • Young children

    • Teens

  • Sustainability in local transport

  • Environmental education for adults, children & family

  • Low carbon training for families

  • Governmental policies to encourage low carbon lifestyles

  • Use of IT & digital for low carbon lifestyles

  • Organizations & movements

  • Contests & competitions

  • Learnings from different regions & countries


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