Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Carbon footprint calculator

This quick CO2 calculator is kind of interesting.

However, it turned out not to be terribly useful for us. The average American CO2 output is 9.44 tons per year. I came in over 22! But 15 of it was due to air travel, and only 7 for the rest of our lives, which is below average. Basically, I entered that each of us flew a single time a year, but since we are in Hawaii, those flights are 7+ hours and killed my footprint.

At the end, it gives some ideas on reducing carbon emissions, but there's nothing you can do for a single flight once a year from Hawaii often at the mandate of your employment. I'm not going to take the train instead!

5 comments:

Colleen said...

You're right, training is the suggested alternative to flying, but there isn't much you can do about one work flight a year from Hawaii. You're wrong, I think, to say there's nothing you can do. Many companies recognize that work mandates travel; they suggest we reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, and then offset the emissions that are impossible to avoid. Offsetting invests money in projects that help sequester and reduce CO2 emissions. Offsets are controversial in the public eye, but if you read up on the concept, you'll find they're a viable alternative. Ron Dembo wrote Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know about Offsetting, but Were Afraid to Ask. You can check it out online here: http://www.zerofootprint.net/about/publications

Robin S. said...

Carbon footprints are interesting.

Carbon footprints - Fourth of July fireworks displays, McDonald's restaurants, flights to conferences on carbon footprints...

blogless troll said...

...the servers hosting the website about carbon footprints...

Apparently, I've got a 40 ton footprint. Though I dispute the air travel part, because the last flight I took was really full, so my percentage of the footprint was smaller. Good news is, I can offset all that for only $450. I was tempted, but then I saw they were going to send me a fridge magnet, a light bulb, and a plastic bag dispenser. And I thought, what's the carbon footprint on a bulk order of fridge magnets? Or plastic bag dispensers? Not to mention the carbon footprint of shipping all that stuff to me. And I calculated I was actually saving the planet more by NOT purchasing their offsets.

Precie said...

The disparity between individual footprint and family footprint on that calculator is a little strange to me...my personal footprint was 5.8. My household footprint (including hubby's commute and business trips) was 23.9.

As for offsets, I think it's much more responsible to work on reducing our own footprints innovatively in our own lives than to try to purchase offsets.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'd like to see that train, though, paca.

I drive 2 hours a day to get to and from work. That raises my footprint significantly, too. But at least we can carpool (and do).

I discovered recently that our food is a large percentage of our actual carbon footprint because meat (as an example) is not an efficient way to produce protein. Vegetarians have the advantage there. Or those folks who get their protein via insects. However I just cannot picture myself having a bunch of fried grubs and noodles for dinner. *shudders*