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Study: Hawai‘i Has Smaller Homes, Lowest CO2 Emissions in US

June 22, 2017, 2:34 PM HST
* Updated June 23, 7:09 AM
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The latest study by PropertyShark revealed that Hawai‘i topped the chart as the state with the lowest CO2 emissions per home per year.

The PropertyShark study analyzed national CO2 emissions that result from heating and cooling in the housing sector.

Besides its mild climate, Hawai‘i also stood out as having one of the lowest average home sizes of all states, resulting in CO2 emissions of only .57 tons per home each year. California comes next, followed by Washington, D.C., where the average home size is the smallest of all states.

California comes next in CO2 emissions, followed by Washington, D.C., where the average home size is the smallest of all states.

The states with lowest emissions per home (D.C., and the West Coast states) are characterized by milder climate and smaller average home size, which lead to less energy consumption and corresponding CO2 emissions.

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Besides these factors, these states don’t rely as much on fuel oil as those from New England, which tallied the highest emissions per home.

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Climate change, global warming, the point of no return, sea level rising, Arctic ice melting, extinction of a high number of species, food insecurity are all difficult topics that make us cringe whenever we hear of them but rather easy to avoid since they all seem distant, larger than us and difficult to influence or change by one individual.

Before the Flood, the 2016 documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio has been praised precisely for taking these complex and abstract climate change issues and translating them in a way that they can touch all of us on a personal level.

With scientific consensus that climate change is happening and it is primarily man-made through massive greenhouse gas emissions, there’s one crucial, personal and often inconvenient conversation we need to have together, said PropertyShark.

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It’s about lifestyle and consumption, according to Indian environmental activist Sunita Narain.

In the documentary, Narain bluntly tells Di Caprio that U.S. consumption will put a hole in our planet, specifically due to increased consumption.

“You’re building bigger, you’re building more and using much more than before,” said Narain.

The fact that we’re building bigger homes has been confirmed by a recent PropertyShark study of home sizes in the largest US cities.

Over the past century, new American homes have become 74% larger on average. Even more, as the average home size increased and the average household size decreased, personal living space went up 211%.

This means that the average U.S. individual living in a new home enjoys 957 square feet of personal space—and this is exerting even more pressure on the environment, PropertyShark said.

The study concluded that if If all U.S. homes were an average of 1,200 square feet, CO2 emissions could be down an estimated 38%.

To read the complete study, go online.

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