While turning down your thermostat, taking public transportation, and buying locally grown food could all reduce your household’s carbon emissions, just how effective each of those individual strategies is depends on who you are and where you live, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
The study, authored by Christopher M. Jones and Danial Kammen of Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), analyzed thousands of different “types” of typical carbon footprints by looking at households in all 50 states, including six different household sizes and 12 different income brackets. They used data from the US Labor Department’s Consumer Expenditure Survey.
The results of the analysis are summarized in a new “carbon calculator” that can help people estimate their carbon footprints and identify the areas where lifestyle changes would have the largest impact. Users can also compare their footprints to similar households in their own area.