• Reduce the amount of meat you eat by 50% (you can start by designating certain days as meatless).
• Explore plant-based substitutions for your favorite recipes.
• Eat smaller meat portions by making it a side dish instead of the centerpiece of a meal.
• People can only change their diets when better options are available. Tell your school you want plant-based options with every meal.
• Factory farms produce enormous amounts of pollution without being held responsible. Tell the EPA to regulate factory farms.
• Demand sustainable procurement policies that consider environmental and social impacts along in addition to economic impacts.
• Commit to carpooling, walking or riding your bike to work once a week.
• Take public transportation when possible.
• Keep your car’s maintenance up to date to improve gas mileage.
• Support expanding public transit.
• Urge local officials to expand bike lanes and bike share programs.
• Ask your employer about telecommute policies.
• Avoid single-use plastics.
• Make sure to follow recycling protocol by disposing items correctly to avoid contamination.
• Opt for washable/reusable alternatives to disposable items. Systemic actions
• Ask companies to eliminate unnecessary packaging.
• Support reuse policies at restaurants and stores.
• Support single-use plastic bans.
• Weatherize your home by sealing up any air leaks around windows and doors to prevent wasting energy.
• Get a home energy audit and find out ways to save energy in your home and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• Support wildlife-friendly energy sources by researching local community solar programs or installing your own solar panels if you’re able to. Systemic actions
• Connect with others about local and regional energy issues in your community by joining your local environmental group or chapter, or grassroots organizations like Mobilize for the Wild, Sunrise Movement or Extinction Rebellion.
• Ask your local, state and federal elected officials to support and implement a Green New Deal.
• Get involved in helping to create, update, and/or advocate for your city's Energy & Climate Action Plan.
• Look into telecommuting options or video conferencing alternatives to in-person meetings.
• For shorter trips (around 8 hours of driving or less) consider driving or taking a train instead of flying to save time, money, and emissions.
• Plan vacations closer to home that don’t require long flights. Systemic actions
• Urge the EPA to adopt strong aviation-pollution standards.
• Tell airlines to commit to emissions reduction targets.
• Ask conferences and long-distance meetings you attend to offer virtual options.
• Have safe sex to make sure you only have children if and when you’re ready.
• Break the taboo by starting a population conversation with your partner, friends and family, or write an opinion piece for a local media outlet.
• Volunteer to receive Endangered Species Condoms to give out in your community. Systemic actions
• Urge decision-makers to support universal access to all forms of contraception so people can choose the method that’s right for them.
• Support sex ed, because comprehensive, science-based sex education isn’t mandatory in every state and often doesn’t go beyond encouraging abstinence.
• Vote for policymakers who will protect reproductive rights, repeal the gag rule, and fight for the environment.
About this game
The goal of Carbon Budget Monopoly is to give you a quick snapshot of your ecological impact. We illustrated the responses with dollar amounts since carbon emissions are an abstract concept to most people, but dollars and budgets are more concrete and relatable. In some cases, dollar amounts were rounded to $5 increments to simplify the original in-person game. This game is not intended to calculate an exact carbon footprint, but to provide an informative view of how different actions compare and their relative effect on the climate.
People choose to have or not have kids for many different reasons, which may include concerns about the climate. This game assigned the cost of $120 per child to represent the impact of this decision compared to other personal choices, but according to studies the cost would actually be as high as $600-$1200.