Lloyd Alter

Editor, Author, Sustainable Design Instructor

Lloyd Alter is editor of architecture and design at TreeHugger.com, the “world’s largest green lifestyle website.” His book “Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle” is published by New Society Publishers in fall, 2021. Lloyd has worked as an architect, a real estate developer, and an entrepreneur in prefabricated housing. He teaches Sustainable Design at the Ryerson University Faculty of Communications and Design and is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. His writing has been published in the Guardian, Azure, and Corporate Knights Magazines.


In his new book Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle, Lloyd Alter examines the carbon footprint of his life. The key finding from the exercise is that looking at the world through the lens of embodied carbon changes everything; An iPhone eats up 12 days of his carbon budget, a Tesla Model 3, 5 years. Buildings look different too; a cubic meter of concrete represents two months. The international scientific consensus is that we have less than a decade to drastically slash our collective carbon emissions to keep global heating to 1.5 degrees and avert catastrophe. Many of us will have to cut our individual carbon footprints by over 80% to 2.5 tonnes per person per year by 2030. But where to start? The key lesson is that while efficiency is important, what really matters is sufficiency. Lloyd will extrapolate from individual choices to design and policy decisions that hinder or help the fight to reduce embodied carbon. The session will illustrate how we need to plan and design buildings and cities to make living the 1.5 degree lifestyle possible.