Gender Wars: Do Men or Women Have a Bigger Carbon Footprint?

After a simple carbon footprint exercise at a recent team meeting for the South Coast Energy Challenge, a question popped into my head: ‘Which is the greener gender? In general, women are said to be “greener” in their attitudes and preferences, but does that really directly relate to their carbon footprint? Strictly based on the purchases women make, such as cosmetics, I am initially led to say that men are more environmentally friendly. However, it’s been argued that men tend to drive more, use more gadgets, and drive less fuel-efficient vehicles to boot, which bodes well for the ladies argument. Further research has revealed that the single individual tends to have a larger carbon footprint than the married individual, due to carpooling and splitting of various carbon-intensive activities.

All in all, it’s a toss-up and it seems to me it is a case that is unique to every individual. For example, one male living in a city with roommates or a significant other, taking public transit to and from work will be much less of a carbon emitter than a female living alone and driving an hour to work each day. It’s a good, friendly debate that could quickly turn sour!

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