A Sweden study has found that men are responsible for 16 percent more carbon emissions than women.
The type of spending, especially on car fuel, leads to men leaving the bigger carbon footprint.
The results, published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, show that one person’s greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by 36 to 38 percent if money is spent on less carbon-intensive products.
“The way they spend is very stereotypical – women spend more money on home decoration, health and clothes and men spend more money on fuel for cars, eating out, alcohol and tobacco,” said study leader Annika Carlsson Kanyama, of Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
“We think it’s important to take the difference between men and women into account in policymaking.”
The paper investigated how consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions from private households can be reduced.
For men and women, holidays accounted for about one third of emissions.
The alternatives to cutting the carbon cost of mainstream food supplies include plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products and buying vegetables produced locally.
The carbon cost of holidays abroad could be reduced by staycations and travelling by train, while second-hand shops could help cut the footprint by eliminating the need for new home furnishings, the researchers said.