Men’s money-spending on meat and gas fuel greenhouse gas emissions 16% more than women, new study says

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Men’s spending habits — particularly on products and services like meat and gasoline — fuel greenhouse gas emissions 16% more than the shopping sprees of their female counterparts, new research shows.

In a study published earlier this week in the “Journal of Industrial Ecology,” researchers analyzed 217 products and services frequently purchased by single men and women in Sweden. They found diet, holiday travel and furnishings and their subsequent repairs made up the largest portions of consumer emissions, or about 60% of all total emissions.

The gap between men and women was attributed to what each choose to spend their money on and is not impacted by the fact that men spend more than women — by about 2% — overall.

“We think it’s important to take the difference between men and women into account in policy making,” Annika Carlsson Kanyama, who led the study for research company Ecoloop in Sweden, told The Guardian.

“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.”

Researchers noted a person could decrease their emissions by nearly 40% overall by swapping meat and dairy for plant-based foods and trading personal vehicles for train travel during the holiday season.

“These are substantial changes of course, but at least you don’t need to get yourself another job, or borrow money from the bank,” Kanyama said. “So it’s something within reach here and now. You just use the same money you have and buy something else.”

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