The average American produces three times the amount of CO2 emissions as the average French person. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, per capita CO2 emissions in the United States are 19.78 tons, compared to France’s 6.6. I think that the main reason for this is everything is bigger in the United States, where you have plenty of extra space and cheap energy. It's a land that lauds big cars, big appliances, and so on. In Europe, space is limited, so everything is tiny. We hang our clothing, and only the elite few have air conditioning. If people do have cars, they’re small ones, and they can pay carbon taxes to offset their emissions.
All in all, there are sustainable changes every country needs to make, and these changes start with individual action. And as far as I'm concerned, this mentality is more important now than ever, considering Trump's decision not meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
The more mindful we become in our daily lives, the more we'll be able to affect policy in a positive way. Personal action encourages the actions of others and, in turn, leads to monumental change.
Inspired to make a change, no matter where you live? Check out mbg's call to action, and keep tabs on our sustainability coverage in the coming weeks.