Living A Low Carbon Lifestyle

The shifts we need to avoid the worst impact of climate change are so big that we'll only get there with robust policy change rather than lifestyle choices. That's why we encourage people to engage in the three-part framework we outline here.

Nevertheless, each of us can do our part to live more of a low-carbon lifestyle. Here are the changes that have the biggest impact:

1) Burn Less Gas In Cars

The average Canadian drives about 20,000 km a year and in a regular car this amounts to about 4 tonnes of greenhouse gasses. You can avoid these emissions by driving less, using transit or bicycles, or switching to a hybrid or fully electric car. There are provincial and federal incentives for electric vehicles, and second-hand electrics are also available that cost less.

2) Fly Less

Just one flight Vancouver-Toronto return emits about one tonne of greenhouse gasses. We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world, making stay-cations desirable, and video conferencing can now substitute for many work trips.

3) East Less Meat

You can shave almost a tonne off your emissions by going meat-free, but even cutting back on meat and dairy is helpful and can improve your health. Eating local food also cuts down on emissions spent in transport, and supports local farmers as well.


There is a chart below with other measures that also contains a controversial idea about having fewer kids - controversial because it's actually about what that child consumes over a lifetime, rather than whether they exist at all.