It is this type of list, which exists in countless renditions the world over, that has motivated my research on sustainable energy consumption in the home. The list raises a series of questions for those interested in ‘green energy and air quality management,’ the area of environmental concern that these tips are aiming to address. Environmental scientists and researchers working in the interdisciplinary fields of industrial ecology, ecological economics and environmental sociology could presumably answer one of the sets of questions: what really is a ‘greener lifestyle’ and how do we measure this? Do we know, as individuals, citizens, households and as a global society, what the main priority areas are for reducing the environmental harm that results from our current consumption patterns — be they related to resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, or local and global pollution? And which item on this list is most significant in terms of reducing environmental impact: should a priority be placed on electricity usage, on car transport or on smoking? A more scientific approach to understanding consumption patterns is necessary, one that can quantify and qualify environmental impact within local, regional and global contexts.
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