2015/07/08 09:45 Angela Druckman, “Kicking the Habit? Understanding the Drivers of Household Carbon Dependency”, ISIE, U. Surrey

Plenary talk by Angela Druckman,  @CES_Surrey, at “Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology”, 8th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, University of Surrey, Guildford, July 7-10, 2015

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship by David Ing.

Plenary talks for ISIE 2015 are by contributors to an open access volume, Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology, available online as open access e-book from Springer in fall 2015.  See the table of contents and the Springer book description.

Angela Druckman is Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation, University of Surrey, and Associate at the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group

[Angela Druckman]

How carbon is embedded into daily household life

UK households:

  • Embedded emissions 66% (e.g things we buy, food, clothes)
  • Direct missions from personal travel 10%
  • Direct emissions from household energy use 24%

Carbon use by use:

  • Recreation and leisure 27%
  • Food and catering 24%

Time use of carbon:

  • Can’t manufacture more time, so what swapping is done?
  • What should be encouraged?
  • Carbon emissions per hour
  • Sleep and rest at 9 hours per day is really low carbon
  • Commuting at .3 hours per day is really intensive
  • Other household emissions of 5 hours per day aren’t a focus
  • In leisure time, spending time with friends requiring travel is high carbon

Have money, so either will spend or save it:  rebound effect

  • Fuel efficient car with lower emissions
  • but then lower petrol bills causes direct rebound
  • Invest money saved into a holiday of spain is indirect rebound
  • Embodied energy in the car itself?

Rebound effect of over 100% means emissions increased — is a backfire!

Rebound effects estimates

  • Domestic use 0-32%
  • Vehicle fuel use 25%-65%
  • Reducing food use sometimes backfires.

Should try to minimize rebound

  • Encourge green investment
  • Shift pattern of expenditures to lower GHG

Which activities are fun and low carbon?

  • Social activities
  • Physical activities
  • Goal orientated activities (in the flow, Csikszentmihalyi 2006)
  • Volunteering
  • Being close to nature

Changing time use will change patterns of consumption, which can change patterns of production

  • Number of hours we work?  Reduce working time?

Work time reduction

  • Need special measures for low income household
  • Outcomes should be a scale effect that reduces incomes, expenditures and consumption
  • Compositional effect, changes in time and expenditure budgets
  • Increased wellbeing
  • Reduced unemployment and inequalities

Some evidence (Sweden)


  • Need to rethink the work-spend economy
  • Focus on win-win


Outsource? Wash your own dog, or take to groomer?

  • What type of activities?
  • How many hours are you working?