This news item caught my eye as a recent post regarding efforts to green up my household brought some muses from one commenter opining that women must have a much bigger carbon footprint than men. My reply was that in a very general way, while women may like to buy more stuff, men like to drive, and drive fast.
Men use 20 percent more energy than women
Now research from the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) confirms that Swedish single men (with no children) consume about 20 percent more overall energy than Swedish single women, mostly because of their vehicle driving habits. For men surveyed in the study, 40 percent of their overall energy use was for transport, while for women the figure was about 25 percent. Women on the other hand, tended to be involved in more "energy intensive" activities while at home (read: washing more dishes, washing more clothes, and washing themselves more and longer!).
Women buy more stuff, men more energy-intensive stuff
The survey found that women really do consume more -more clothes, more pharmaceuticals, more health care, more beauty supplies and services - but the stuff men spent their money on - more eating and drinking out, more tobacco, more transport - were more energy intensive. Of course, some of those cars and meals are probably benefitting some of those single women.
Men less likely to give up the car use
A different survey in Sweden from 2007 found Swedish men less aware of global warming, as well as less worried about it than women, and more willing to accept the risks a changing climate might entail. Men are thus (and thus far) less receptive to efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by reducing their driving. The Research Defense Ministry suggests labeling goods and services with their climate effects will help women reduce their footprint, while men need some new kind of effective incentive to want to drive less ($9 gas doesn't seem to do it.) Via ::Camino Magasin (Swedish) and Ministry of Defense