The influence of consumer behavior on energy, greenhouse gas, and water footprints of showering
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Industrial Ecology, 0, (2019), pp. 1-10
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Industrial Ecology
Abstract Understanding variability in consumer behavior can provide further insights into how to effectively reduce environmental footprints related to household activities. Here, we developed a stochastic model to quantify the energy, greenhouse gas (GHG), and water consumption footprints of showering in four different countries (Australia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America). We assessed the influence of two broadly distinct categories of behavior on the footprints of showering: habitual behaviors and one-off reasoned actions. We also investigated whether changing showering behavior has a substantial impact on the associated energy, GHG, and water footprints. Our results show that the variation in environmental footprints within the countries due to differences in consumer behavior is a factor of 6?17 (95th percentile/5th percentile) depending on the country and the indicator selected. Both consumers? reasoned actions (especially the choice of a specific heater and shower type) and habitual behaviors (length of showering in particular, are the dominant sources of footprint variability. Significant savings are achievable by making better one-off decisions such as buying an efficient water heater and by taking shorter showers.
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