"Comparative feedback is very important. People want to know how well they are doing compared to people like themselves," Jones said.
Users also can create accounts and join groups of similar households to share their carbon footprint profiles and reduction strategies. An online competition allows cities, counties, community groups and businesses to compete against each other.
With the help of Jones and Kammen, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has launched a similar website, CoolCalifornia.org, designed to be a one-stop-shop to motivate and connect the millions of Californians who are taking action to minimize carbon footprints.
CoolCalifornia.org provides a wide range of tools and resources to help Californians make sustainable choices," said Bart Croes director of research at ARB. "The carbon calculators under development by UC Berkeley are at the heart of CoolCalifornia.org, and are an important tool to help individuals, local governments, schools and community groups reduce their carbon footprints."
For typical U.S. households, the newly published report claims about one-third of emissions are from transportation, a little more than 20 percent are from household energy, and about 15 percent are from food. All other emissions are from goods, services, housing construction, water and waste.
Jones noted that information alone is not enough. Program designers need to understand the motivations behind people's actions and how to design programs to reduce barriers to adopting sustainable behavior and tap into social motivations that move individuals.
"If you want an effective program to reduce emissions, it is essent
|Contact: Robert Sanders|
University of California - Berkeley