Plastic Affects Our Energy Consumption

While many people associate plastic with waste in regards to the climate crisis, it’s also a significant issue in the energy/transportation sector. The production, processing, and incineration of plastic is an intensive process that is responsible for emitting 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere in a single year. If this is not addressed, this number could increase to 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. [1]

Transportation is Largest Emitter

While there are many inputs to greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector contributes the largest percentage in the United States. In 2021, the transportation sector accounted for 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions which included vehicles, air travel, shipping, and many more. Without proper reduction plans, emissions will continue to grow which can lead to issues like increasing temperatures, reduced air quality, and extreme weather events. [2]

Energy Use is Continuing to Grow

Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been emitting a significant amount of greenhouse gasses which has altered the global climate. In 2021 alone, humans were responsible for releasing 36.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere with a significant majority being used for the production of electricity. Every year, the magnitude of emissions continues to grow and the need for reduction becomes increasingly important. [3]

Project Examples

Reduce Energy!

This team from Bryant Ranch Elementary School in Yorba Linda, CA wanted to reduce energy usage in their school and community. Over the course of their campaign, the students recruited households to participate in energy audits and reported the amount of kWh homes reduced over a period of time after enacting sustainable practices.

Advocate for Renewables!

The students from Helen Keller Middle School teamed up with fellow Long Beach students to advocate for the commitment of the Long Beach Unified School District to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030

More Project Ideas

  • Go Renewable! Call on your school, your district, or your city to commit to 100% renewable energy!
  • Energy Savings Education: Educate and inspire the public to make energy efficient lifestyle changes, including switching to LED lighting, motion sensor lighting, smart thermostats, power-strip use, etc.
  • Conduct an Energy Audit: in your home or school to identify and reduce wasted energy
  • No Idle Zone : Educate and Inspire the public about idling emissions and to turn off their cars when stopped and advocate to make your school drop off and pick up areas “No Idle Zones”
  • Educate and inspire the public to walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation instead of driving
  • Electric Vehicles & Infrastructure: Educate and Inspire the public about the benefits of purchasing and driving electric vehicles or advocate for a Greener Fleet / Charging Station / Prioritized Parking for electric vehicles in your community
  • Educate and Inspire the public to reduce car emissions by shopping local when possible

When you are finished, enter your shared Google folder and locate the Phase 1 Forms worksheet located in the Phase 1 folder. Complete the questions under the Phase 1.1 section.


Return to Phase 1.1

Move Forward to Phase 1.2

Looking for Another Page? Head over to the Campaign’s Table of Contents.