How is climate change affecting your everyday life?

Food/drink

1) After a long week of work, you look forward to...

The dramatic weather changes created by climate change has affected cacao production across the globe. As a result, some of your favorite chocolates may spike up in price. (source)

Climate change is already affecting your favorite can of suds. Water shortages and heat-blasted hop crops are changing the flavor of beer, and some think not for the better… (source)

Get ready to expand your palette to new tastes, because climate change is having growers try new varieties of grapes to accommodate the warmer temperatures. This is only one example of the food/drink industry adapting to the growing issue of climate change. (source)

Coffee beans are also part of our endangered list of crops. The dramatic weather changes created by climate change has affected coffee production across the globe. (source)

2) What do you usually do for lunch?

The fact that you’re bringing lunch means you’re probably using your own container and utensils -- which is great! Packaging makes up the largest category of municipal waste (source)

Leftovers aren’t just great when you’re in a rush to leave; they also reduce your food waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — almost 3,000 lbs — gets lost or wasted. (source)

We’ve been there. Packing your own lunch can be stressful. Just make sure you’re not buying more than you can eat to do your part in reducing food waste! Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — almost 3,000 lbs — gets lost or wasted. (source)

Even if you’re buying lunch, you’re taking a great step in using reusable materials, and reducing your contributing to package waste. Packaging makes up the largest category of municipal waste. (source)

3) How much meat do you eat?

Beef plays a huge role in American culture, so your love for it isn’t surprising! Beef, responsible for roughly 6% of greenhouse gas emissions, is the single biggest food factor when it comes to climate change. (source)

Okay, you’ve decided to lean towards vegetables in an effort to eat cleaner. Key ingredients of a healthy diet are becoming scarcer, the world’s supply of vegetables could fall by more than a third by 2050. (source)

Tofu has been widely used in various dishes for those who live a vegetarian lifestyle, did you know that tofu is made from soybeans? The spike in average temperatures estimate that future harvests of wheat, soybeans and corn could drop by 22-49 percent. (source)

Travel

4) What’s your ideal vacation spot?

Before you plan your island getaway, keep in mind that in the Southern Pacific, five Solomon Islands have been washed away completely. Even though rising sea levels are only in part due to climate change, they are examples of the risky futures for the rest of the world if climate change continues the way it has been. (source)

High temperatures in desert areas like North Africa and along the Persian Gulf are reportedly at risk of becoming too dangerous to live in. An MIT research team determined that future temperatures there and in southwest Asia will be too hot for survival if nations don’t control their emissions. That’s probably more than the summer tan you were looking for. (source)

The US Ski industry is preparing for the effects of climate change on snowy mountains. The industry is starting to prep for warmer winters by improving snowmaking systems and pivoting toward summer activities like mountain biking and canopy tours. (source)

Historically, many prominent cities are found along the coast, where trade and immigration was most accessible. The result is more vulnerability to climate change effects like rising sea levels and extreme weather events. (source)

5) What’s your main mode of transportation?

Your method of getting around proves to be a great way to exercise and is positive to the environment. Bicycling/walking significantly reduces transportation emissions while also reducing traffic congestion and the need for petroleum. (source)

If you’ve been sardined into a subway car or left standing on a commute train, know that for a daily commute of 10 miles each way, this would save 4,627 pounds of carbon dioxide per household per year—equivalent to an 8.1% reduction in the annual carbon footprint of a typical American household. (source)

By simply sharing your trips with one other person you can cut your CO2 emissions and your out-of-pocket costs by 50%. And that’s one less car clogging up your morning commute! (source)

You take old reliable to work, school and running errands. An average gasoline-powered vehicle will release about 33 tons of CO2 during a 100,000-mile lifetime. (source)

6) What is your preferred method for traveling long distances?

Airplanes account for some 11 percent of CO2 emissions from U.S. transportation sources and 3 percent of the United States’ total CO2 emissions. So just try to keep the plane riding to a minimum... (source)

You might be looking forward to your annual cruise vacation, but taking into account the world’s largest cruise ship, the “Harmony of the Seas”, marine pollution analysts in Germany and Brussels said that such a large ship would probably burn at least 150 tonnes (330,693 pounds) of fuel a day, and emit more sulfur than several million cars. (source)

A train ride per passenger can be just as environmentally friendly as driving in a small with three people -- both can emit as little as 100 lbs per traveler for a 600 mile trip. Bonus: you’re choosing the scenic route! (source)

Home

7) These characteristics are becoming more common in newer households -- Does your home have any of them? (select all that apply)

hot-humid climate map(source)

While this zone accounts for only 19% of all U.S. households, nearly 28% of homes built since 2000 are in this area. This population increase in the warmer areas contributes to national increase in air conditioning usage. (source)

While glamorous, high ceiling increase the heating load of a house. They’re becoming more popular across the county with more than 50% of homes having high ceilings, as opposed to 30% of homes built before 2000. (source)

The number of these has also gone up in households across the country -- which is a good thing! Double- and triple-pane windows help keep in heat and cool air. (source)

As of 2015, 30% of households have a second refrigerator, compared to 1978 to 1997 when the percentage was between 12-15%. Refrigerators run on coolants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are nearly 10,000 times as potent as CO2. (source)

8) During the colder months, how do you stay warm at home? (select all that apply)

While central heating feels great, as of 2015, space heating and air conditioning accounted for about half of all energy consumed by the residential sector. (source)

A programmable thermostat saves an estimated 10% per year on heating (and cooling) costs. This is good for the environment and your wallet! (source)

If you’re able to get by with using a space heater for one or two rooms, or for heating the entire space, that will be more energy and cost efficient than central heating. On the other hand, using multiple space heaters isn’t any more environmentally friendly than central heating (source)

If the point of heating a home is to stay warm, there are many techniques individuals can use to make sure they stay toasty even if their house isn’t. Keep your head and feet covered to prevent heat from leaving your body, and stay in smaller rooms that are easier to heat. You can find more tips here

9) During warmer months, how do you keep your house cool? (select all that apply)

It’s a great feeling to walk into your house mid-summer and feel the need to put on a sweater, but central cooling costs the environment and you. As of 2015, space heating and air conditioning accounted for about half of all energy consumed by the residential sector. (source)

Incorporating energy efficiency into the design of the house with well insulated walls, airtight doors and windows, and cutting edge technology, a “passive house” can use 85-90% less energy than a typical house. See our NYC Rising episode on a family with a “passive house” here. (source)

This is great way to try and use the natural air flow of your house to cool it down. One technique called “the chimney effect” encourages opening one window at a lower point in the house to let in cool air and another window at the upper level of the house to release warm air. (source)

Yes, there was a time before air conditioning, so there are lots of techniques to keeping your body cool, and avoid expending all that energy for a cooling system. One surprising technique is changing your ceiling fan to spin counter-clockwise. (source)