It has long been a point of contention: do individual actions make a difference, or are they pointless diversions? The question always is whether individual actions are like recycling, pointless diversions to make us feel better while the big corporations keep pumping out more CO2?
One new study, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints, from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and Aalto University, argues that in fact, our individual actions could add up to make a big difference. In fact, they suggest that we have no choice: “Changes in consumption patterns and dominant lifestyles are a critical and integral part of the solutions package to address climate change.”
I have been trying to live this 1.5 degree lifestyle, which means limiting my CO2 emissions to 2.5 tonnes per year, or 6.85 kilograms kilograms per day. Lots more to come!
This site is now being used to promote my new book from New Society Publishers about living the 1.5 degree lifestyle, but if you dig down you will find other posts that I have written.
I am Design editor of TreeHugger.com. Also a contract teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design, and a past president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario because I care a lot about old buildings. I have contributed to Corporate Knights magazine, Mother Nature Network, Azure and the Guardian.
I can be reached via email at lloydalter at Gmail.com and on twitter @lloydalter