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Time, gender and carbon: A study of the carbon implications of British adults' use of time

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  • Druckman, Angela
  • Buck, Ian
  • Hayward, Bronwyn
  • Jackson, Tim

Abstract

In order to meet the UK's challenging greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, behaviour change will be necessary in addition to changes in technology. Traditionally this has been approached from the angle of shifting the goods people purchase towards lower impact options. But an equally valid angle is through changing the way people use their time. This study explores the GHG emissions per unit time for different types of activities. It focuses on ‘non-work’ time, and examines how different activities, such as household chores and leisure pursuits, give rise to varying amounts of household carbon emissions. We do this first for an average British adult, and then examine how time use varies within households, and how this impacts on resulting carbon emissions. We find, for example, that leisure activities are generally associated with lower carbon emissions than non-leisure activities, and that a higher proportion of an average man's carbon footprint is due to leisure than an average woman's. In the discussion we explore the implications of our findings for the varying roles carried out within different types of household, we investigate the concept of carbon as a potential marker for social justice, and discuss the implications for work-time reduction policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Druckman, Angela & Buck, Ian & Hayward, Bronwyn & Jackson, Tim, 2012. "Time, gender and carbon: A study of the carbon implications of British adults' use of time," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 153-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:84:y:2012:i:c:p:153-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.09.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Yosuke Shigetomi & Keisuke Nansai & Shigemi Kagawa & Susumu Tohno, 2016. "Influence of income difference on carbon and material footprints for critical metals: the case of Japanese households," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    4. Hadjikakou, Michalis, 2017. "Trimming the excess: environmental impacts of discretionary food consumption in Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 119-128.
    5. Gerold, Stefanie & Nocker, Matthias, 2018. "More Leisure or Higher Pay? A Mixed-methods Study on Reducing Working Time in Austria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 27-36.
    6. Yu, Biying & Yang, Xiaojuan & Zhao, Qingyu & Tan, Jinxiao, 2020. "Causal Effect of Time-Use Behavior on Residential Energy Consumption in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).
    7. Broberg, Thomas & Persson, Lars, 2016. "Is our everyday comfort for sale? Preferences for demand management on the electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 24-32.
    8. Chai, Andreas & Bradley, Graham & Lo, Alex & Reser, Joseph, 2015. "What time to adapt? The role of discretionary time in sustaining the climate change value–action gap," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 95-107.
    9. Xibao Xu & Yan Tan & Shuang Chen & Guishan Yang & Weizhong Su, 2015. "Urban Household Carbon Emission and Contributing Factors in the Yangtze River Delta, China," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(4), pages 1-21, April.
    10. King, Lewis C. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2017. "Worktime Reduction as a Solution to Climate Change: Five Scenarios Compared for the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 124-134.
    11. Zhang, Hongwu & Shi, Xunpeng & Wang, Keying & Xue, Jinjun & Song, Ligang & Sun, Yongping, 2020. "Intertemporal lifestyle changes and carbon emissions: Evidence from a China household survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    12. Shigetomi, Yosuke & Nansai, Keisuke & Kagawa, Shigemi & Tohno, Susumu, 2015. "Trends in Japanese households' critical-metals material footprints," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 118-126.
    13. Jalas, Mikko & Juntunen, Jouni K., 2015. "Energy intensive lifestyles: Time use, the activity patterns of consumers, and related energy demands in Finland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 51-59.
    14. Pullinger, Martin, 2014. "Working time reduction policy in a sustainable economy: Criteria and options for its design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 11-19.
    15. Satre-Meloy, Aven & Diakonova, Marina & Grünewald, Philipp, 2020. "Cluster analysis and prediction of residential peak demand profiles using occupant activity data," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 260(C).
    16. Jonas Nässén & Jörgen Larsson, 2015. "Would shorter working time reduce greenhouse gas emissions? An analysis of time use and consumption in Swedish households," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 33(4), pages 726-745, August.
    17. Manfred Lenzen & Robert A. Cummins, 2013. "Happiness versus the Environment—A Case Study of Australian Lifestyles," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, May.

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