Men emit 16 percent more greenhouse gases than women because they tend to spend more money on fuel and eat more meat, among other things, a new study has found.
The discrepancy is attributed to spending habits, or what men choose to spend their money on—and not because men spend more money than women overall. In fact, they only spend about 2 percent more than women in total, according to the study, published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
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“These expenditures are as you would expect in a gender stereotype: Women spend more money on health care, furnishings, buy more food, clothes. Men spend more money on eating out, alcohol and tobacco, and more money on cars and fuels,” said the study’s lead author, Annika Carlsson Kanyama, with the research company Ecoloop in Sweden.
“If men spent money the same way as women, their emissions would be similar but they are not,” Carlsson Kanyama said.
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Carlsson Kanyama and her team analyzed 217 products and services frequently purchased by single men and women Sweden, and found that diets, holidays, and furnishings and their repairs (new and used cups, bookcases, beds, and dishwashers, for example) represented the largest sources of consumer emissions—up to 60 percent of emissions in total.
For single men and women in Sweden, food and drink accounts for about a quarter of emissions, holidays account for about a third, and furnishings make up between 2 and 5 percent. (While holidays and food habits are the biggest sources of emissions, the team included furnishings because it shows “where sharing and second-hand practices can make a difference.”)