We need to reduce our carbon footprint by three-quarters
In order to reach the 2015 Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 'well below 2°C' compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050, we need to grow accustomed to a lifestyle that emits 2.1 tonnes of carbon per person per year, according to Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas in their research paper.
Currently, the amount of carbon produced per person worldwide is 4.79 tonnes. If we take into account the trade of products imported and manufactured elsewhere, the UK emits 8.29 tonnes per person. This means that we need to reduce our emissions per person by 6.19 tonnes, or in other words, emit a quarter of what we currently do.
Although we are making some promising improvements in technology to reduce our carbon emissions at a national level, we also need to make changes to our personal lifestyles. Seth and Kimberly provided some recommendations which are summarised below.
Four of the most impactful things we can do as individuals:
Have one fewer child
Having a child is a very personal decision but it is important to be aware of the facts. The authors calculate that if an individual has one fewer child in their lifetime, this will save 58.6 tonnes of carbon per year. This estimate is based on quantified future emissions of the child and their descendents in a developed country.
People are increasingly relying on cycling, car-sharing and public transport where possible, and this can have a sizeable impact on our carbon footprint. Seth and Kimberly find that forgoing a car saves 2.4 tonnes of carbon per year. Although electric cars are better for the environment, they still emit 1.15 tonnes of carbon through electricity usage.
Avoid air travel
It's easy to ignore the sizeable impact of a flight taken to go on holiday. Each roundtrip transatlantic flight emits 1.6 tonnes of carbon, which can easily displace all of the hard work done throughout the year to be more environmentally conscious.
Eat a plant-based diet
The authors calculate that moving to a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes carbon per year. Indeed, it is four times more effective at reducing emissions than recycling regularly and 8 times more effective than changing the household lightbulbs to be more energy efficient.
We need to make some tough decisions
At Turnativ, we believe that to change the world we need to change ourselves as individuals. One of the most meaningful actions we can take to reduce our carbon footprint is to move to a plant-based diet.
Following a plant-based diet does not need to be an overnight change, and we think that one of best steps people can take is to try plant-based protein for sport and physical activity. Not only is it better for the environment, it is cleaner, leads to less digestive issues, and results in better recovery than animal-based protein.
Check out our range of protein bars and powders here and start your journey to reducing your carbon footprint.