Public perceptions of how to reduce carbon footprints of consumer food choices

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Astrid Kause
  • Wandi Bruine de Bruin
  • Joel Millward-Hopkins
  • Henrik Olsson

Carbon footprints - the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with consumer food choices - substantially contribute to climate change. Life cycle analyses from climate and environmental sciences have identified effective rules for reducing these food-related GHG emissions, including eating seasonal produce and replacing dairy and red meat with plant-based products. In a national UK survey, we studied how many and which rules our participants generated for reducing GHG emissions of produce, dairy, and protein-rich products. We also asked participants to estimate GHG emission reductions associated with pre-selected rules, expressed in either grams or percentages. We found that participants generated few and relatively less effective rules, including ambiguous ones like 'Buy local'. Furthermore, participants' numerical estimates of pre-selected rules were less accurate when they assessed GHG emission reductions in grams rather than in percentages. Findings suggest a need for communicating fewer rules in percentages, for informing consumers about reducing food-related GHG emissions.

ZeitschriftEnvironmental Research Letters
Anzahl der Seiten9
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 11.2019
Extern publiziertJa