Study: Environmentalists Have ‘Substantially Worse than Average’ Carbon Footprints

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People who are worried about climate change emit far more carbon dioxide in their daily lives than the average American, according to data gathered by a new app that can track one’s carbon footprint.

Ian Monroe, the chief executive of Oroeco, told Grist that his app, which syncs social media data and online shopping habits to estimate users’ daily carbon emissions, reveals environmentalists to be some of the biggest “carbon polluters.”

Something that comes as a shock to a lot of our users: The average person who says they care about climate change actually has a substantially worse than average footprint. Generally that’s because they tend to have a bit more money, and they tend to be people who like to think of themselves as multicultural and like to get out and see the world. Which means that they’re flying around a lot, and all that flying generally outweighs any other green lifestyle choices that they’ve made. You have a lot of people who are using reusable bags and water bottles, driving a Prius, maybe eating a bit more of a veggie friendly diet. But then they’re flying to Bali or South Africa or something once a year. They end up having a larger carbon footprint than a conservative guy who drives an SUV in the suburbs of Atlanta but doesn’t fly anywhere.