Top Tips for Carbon-Efficient Spending

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April 6, 2022

Everything we buy has a carbon footprint.

It takes energy to produce, transport, and dispose of the things we use in our daily lives, from the food we eat to the clothes we buy.


When we burn fossil fuels, we create greenhouse gas emissions. We measure those emissions in kilograms of CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent. In 2019, 63% of electricity generated in the US came from fossil fuels! (US EIA, 2019)


Consumer choices in how we spend our money influence over 65% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Ivanova et al, 2016). It’s not a silver bullet, but we can make a big difference when make intentional choices together.


Home: Things like gas, electricity, and water.

Food & Drink: Things like groceries, coffee, and dining out.

Travel: Things like flights, hotels, rideshare, and gasoline.

Shopping: Things like clothes, movies, Netflix subscriptions, haircuts, and fitness classes.

Read more on how Joro calculates your carbon footprint from spending.
How The Carbonizer Works


We all need to buy stuff. But do you know the most carbon-efficient ways you can spend your money efficiently? The top Joro users know these tips, and soon you will too. 

Read on to find out.


An average American could reduce their carbon footprint by 2% annually (an impact equal to 18 trees!) and save $165 per household just by unplugging devices that are not in use (US EIA, DOE). But the truth is: it isn't easy to remember to unplug. Surge protectors, smart plugs, and power strips can help automate energy savings.

Get our recs for the best smart plugs and power strips.
Get Our Top Picks


Idle devices use up to 23% of home energy use, costing Americans $19 billion per year (NRDC, 2018).

Start a power-down challenge.
Unplug Idle Devices


Going out to eat can be super fun. But did you know restaurants use electricity less efficiently and tend to create more food waste? Cooking at home is more carbon-efficient than dining out. You’ll do well for the planet and impress your friends when you cook up a storm.


Red meat has a 5x higher carbon footprint than pork, chicken, or fish, and a 25x higher carbon footprint per gram of protein of tofu, or beans (Oxford University, 2020). That means money you spend on red meat has a higher carbon footprint per dollar than money you spend on white meat or veggies.

Start a plant-based eating challenge.
Eat more plants


You might find that your next weekend getaway is closer and more affordable than you thought. Choose trains and buses, which are usually a 10-20x higher carbon footprint per dollar than flights. Opt to stay with a friend or book an AirBnB, which are often less wasteful than large hotels.


One roundtrip flight across the US makes up 5-8% of the average American’s footprint (MyClimate, 2019). A flight can create upwards of 3 kg CO2e per dollar spent, 10-20x more carbon emissions than public transit. If you can cut out even one flight this year, that might be one of the most impactful actions you can take.

Offset a Flight


Exploring a national park, museum, or local fitness class are some of the most carbon-efficient ways to spend your leisure money. In general, people who spend more money on experiences and less money on physical goods have a lower carbon footprint.


The fashion industry has a higher carbon footprint than the aviation industry. That’s because clothes - and other things we buy for ourselves and our homes - require a lot of energy to produce (World Bank, 2019). Before you click buy on that next shiny item, ask yourself: do I really need this? Your wallet will thank you.


Now you know how top Joro users are living lighter. Ready to start applying your climate-savvy?

Take a Climate Action

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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