These consumer product environmental impacts were calculated by the Union of Concerned Scientists. For each product group in the list below, there are seven percentages, showing how much that group contributes to each of the seven categories of environmental impact. To find out how you can help the environment most, look for the products you use that have the highest percentage of impact, and try to reduce your use of those first. You can click on each of the ten groups below, and the list will expand to show all the specific products that make up that group.


Global Warming Air Pollution Water Pollution Habitat Alteration
Product Groups GHG's Common Toxic Common Toxic Water Use Land Use
Household operations 35.4 32.2 19.9 21.4 13.9 10.5 4.1
Transportation 32.3 28.3 51.2 7.4 23.2 1.9 15.1
Food 11.7 16.7 8.8 37.9 22.3 73.4 45.1
Personal items and services 6.1 6.5 5.6 7.2 11.9 5.9 5.1
Housing 6.0 7.0 4.1 9.6 10.0 2.1 25.7
Medical 5.8 5.6 6.5 3.9 13.2 2.7 3.2
Financial and legal 1.2 1.1 1.0 0.6 1.2 0.3 1.0
Private education 0.6 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.9 0.2 0.4
Yardcare 0.1 0.9 2.0 9.3 2.6 2.8 0.0
Other 0.8 1.0 0.5 2.1 0.8 0.2 0.3

If you want to learn more about these ratings, and how they were calculated, the best source is the book that the Union of Concerned Scientists published on the subject, The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices.