2020: Joro Carbon Year in Review

Sanchali Pal & Marie-Eve Savard
December 21, 2020

This year, the Joro community found ways to live lighter by changing diets, traveling more sustainably, reducing energy use at home, buying less stuff, and subscribing to carbon offsets. And this wasn't just because of COVID-19: the majority of our members joined after April 2020, yet we still managed to lower our average carbon emissions by 10%. 

Behavior change is not only effective; it's one of the cost-efficient climate solutions we have. If everyone in the world lived like the Joro community, we'd have an impact equal to taking half of the world’s cars off the road. That’s an impact equal to 690 million cars!

Together, households influence over 65% of global emissions (Ivanova et al, 2016). No, there's no silver bullet. But we aren't powerless, either. Read on to see the best of our community in 2020.

Climate actions that matter

The Joro community is leading the way in living lighter.


The average member of the Joro community had a carbon footprint of 15,750 kg this year - slightly better (6% better) than the average American at 16,700 kg per year.

Managing your impact starts with understanding your carbon footprint. On average, Joro members improved their footprints by 10%, saving 1,351 kg - or 2,978 lbs - of CO2e over the course of 2020.

That means that each of us reduced the same amount of carbon as about 61 trees in a year: an impact equal to a forest about the size of a football field! 

To think about this another way, the average Joro user’s carbon footprint is about equal to the weight of 10 large black rhinos per year. On Joro, we’re living lighter by one rhino per year.

We are fighting the climate crisis by mobilizing our crew.  On average, Joro users saved 22% more carbon when we connected with friends to build a solution as big as the problem.  

The Joro community got on airplanes less often than we usually do this year. Even for the flights we did take, we used offsets to reduce our collective impact by 23%. That’s one way we found the balance between doing what we can and compensating for what we can't yet.

Curious to learn more about carbon offsets? Read more on how we think about and vet carbon offsets.  

What 2020 meant for our footprints

 Understanding the most important carbon footprint drivers to make decisions that matter.

The pandemic drastically altered energy consumption around the world. With international travel halted and much of the global population confined to their homes, greenhouse gas emissions dropped between 4.2 - 7.5% in 2020. Some parts of the world, like Europe and the United States, produced their lowest levels of emissions in several decades. Read more in our Climate Year in Review.

Biggest culprits

When it came to how we eat, recurrent purchases such as grocery shopping were the biggest carbon contributors, followed by restaurants.

In the travel category, gasoline was still in high demand - in many places across the country, cars became the safest mode of transport as public transportation usage declined in the pandemic.

In aggregate, these transactions contributed as much or more to our carbon emissions as for air travel, even if flying is more carbon intensive purchase per dollar spent.

Treading lighter

Overall, we lived lighter by reimagining our food and travel habits. We lived lightest in April, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. July was our highest-footprint month.

For the Joro community, 2020 meant big changes to how we traveled. We flew less and stayed in fewer hotels. We used far less ride hailing services (i.e. Lyft & Uber), and cut down slightly on gas consumption in our own cars. We saved a lot of money on our parking and daily commutes.

When it comes to food, we’ve been spending more on groceries and less on dining out which has a real impact on emissions. Eating out is fun, but restaurants and bars use electricity less efficiently and tend to create more food waste which make this subcategory more carbon-heavy.

Curious to learn more about low-carbon cooking? Read our blog or explore our tips and advice on plant-forward eating.

Carbon Intuition: What is relatively more important?

How important are these changes? A twenty-mile car ride results in a footprint of about 8 kg CO2e, or 18 lbs CO2e. That’s about the same footprint as a quarter-pound cheeseburger. For different people, adjusting these behaviors might be more or less difficult. Regardless of where you feel you are most able to change, the intentional choices we make in our lifestyles add up to big changes over time, and with others.

Joro helps you build carbon intuition. It's impossible to memorize the exact carbon footprint of each and every action. Instead, Joro helps you understand the most important drivers of your footprint to help you make decisions that matter.

Why does Joro matter?

Understand the impact behind your dollars

Choices we make in how we travel, power our homes, eat, and shop can dramatically improve our shared trajectory. Joro meets you where you are, to help you develop your climate action practice, and to  understand your role in the solution. Small changes add up to big impact when we all take part in flattening the curve. It’s as simple as engaging in the daily exercise of bringing awareness and intention to reduce the carbon emissions within your control. We're here to help you find your role in the solution.

Ready to start your lowest-impact year on record? Download the Joro app today to start tracking your carbon footprint and develop your own personal climate practice.

A climate action practice is the daily exercise of bringing awareness and intention to reduce the carbon emissions within your control.

Grow your practice with exclusive tips and advice.

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