Comparing The Modern-Day Household's GHG Emissions to Decades Past
| Scott C
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, are emitted by human activities and are a major contributor to climate change. One of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions is from households. In this blog post, we will take a look at the average greenhouse gas emissions from a household in the modern age and how that compares to households in decades past.
In present day, the average household is responsible for emitting about 16.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This is mainly due to the use of fossil fuels for heating, transportation, and electricity generation to power the home. In addition, the use of consumer goods and the disposal of waste also contribute to household greenhouse gas emissions.
This is about 30% higher compared to the 1980s, when the average household emitted about 12.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, and double the amount compared to the 1950s, at about 8 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The main reason for this increase was the increased use of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity generation.
It's important to note that these figures are just averages and may vary depending on the location and lifestyle of the household. However, it is clear that there has been a steady increase in greenhouse gas emissions from households over the last few generations. It may come as a surprise given the vast improvement on efficient building science and appliances. This increase can be attributed to the growing use of fossil fuels, the increasing number of households with electricity (and the number of appliances in the home), and the growing use of single-use consumer goods. Each consumable has an impact on the environment through its production process and supply chain, and contributes to household emission statistics.
To combat this trend and reduce household greenhouse gas emissions, there are several steps that can be taken. One of the most effective is to reduce the personal energy used in your daily life. This can be done by using energy-efficient appliances, insuring your home has adequate insulation, and alternative forms of transportation such as biking, walking, or public transportation. Additionally, households can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by recycling and composting waste, using renewable energy sources and supporting sustainable products. Though this can be difficult to track individually, at scale it has a big impact.
In conclusion, the average greenhouse gas emissions from a household have increased significantly over the past century, primarily due to the use of fossil fuels. However, by taking steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels, recycling and composting waste, using renewable energy sources, and supporting sustainable products, households can greatly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future.