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Author Topic: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?  (Read 3539 times)

AndrewP

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What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« on: January 23, 2014, 08:29:54 AM »
I reckon mine is about 7 metric tons CO2.

Most of that is from driving 10,000 miles a year in my not so efficient 25-30mpg car (I entered 26). I should drive less and will try to buy a more efficient car next time. However, having a big car also allows me to live out of my car which is efficient so that is my excuse.

1.46 from my apartment, probably mostly electric heat (I only live in an apartment during the winter and share with two other people). We used 1200 kwh in December which seems high to me. We have electric heat which isn't very efficient. We put plastic wrap on the windows which seemed to help. And we keep the thermostat at 64 in the day 60 at night. 1200 kwh just seems high to me.

.34 from a one way flight I took

3.22 from driving 10,000 miles

The website gave me 2.96 from the "other" category but I think it is lower more like 2. I ate almost exclusively leftovers from June to September and exclusively local organic from September to November. January-May and December I eat supermarket food and I do eat meat. I recycle and I buy very little other than food (no major appliances). I do one load of laundry every week in the winter and probably every two weeks in summer.

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx

Neven

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Re: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 01:22:44 PM »
According to the Carbon Footprint Calculator in the OP's link, my family (me, wife, 9-year old daughter) has the following footprint:



I estimated the amount of energy we used for heating (10,000 kWh), based on our previous house (72 m2) in the Netherlands, even though our current apartment measures 45 m2 and has better insulation. Because we occasionally have family coming over, I added their travel footprint to ours, and for secondary I chose slightly worse options.

For the past couple of months we've been building a house, which takes quite a bit of energy, but we built with at least concrete as possible, and the house is made from wood which also stores CO2. As the house is supposed to be very energy efficient and has a 5 kWp solar array (which has produced 500 kWh so far), and we're planning to do a lot of gardening, I have hopes that the carbon footprint of House and Secondary will be reduced significantly.

We're also planning on cutting back on driving as much as possible. Even though our car is pretty efficient and uses CNG, 15,000 km per year is way too much. We're buying good bikes in a couple of months, possibly an electric bike for transports, and this should cut out most of our short trips. Our goal is to get the driving to 5000 km per year or less.

In short, this is where I would like us to go in the next 3 years:

Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Wipneus

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Re: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 05:25:44 PM »
Interesting, the 2013 footprint for me and my wife (no car, daily commuting by bike, vacation by train):

House   1.34 metric tons of CO2e
Flights   0.00 metric tons of CO2e
Car   0.00 metric tons of CO2e
Motorbike   0.00 metric tons of CO2e
Bus & Rail   0.06 metric tons of CO2e
Other Fuel   0.00 metric tons of CO2e
Secondary   1.59 metric tons of CO2e
Total = 3.00 metric tons of CO2e

I am thinking of installing some solar power. If I could reduce our 2400KWh by 50%, a footprint of 2.75 tonnes would be feasable in the near future.

wili

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Re: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 09:54:25 PM »
I get about one "earth" at www.myfootprint.org. I haven't tried this measure yet. No time now. Have to check back later.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 05:16:38 PM »
Neven, Wipneus & wili

Those are very good numbers by the standards of the countries you live in, but they bring home one of the points we were making in the other topics the last few days.

If everyone on earth averaged the number you are making it would still amount to 22Gtons of emissions and heading towards 27Gtons if we hit the 9 billion in population we are supposed to.  Economic development is of course the goal of everyone.  Does that calculator you are using take into account your per capita share of all the multitude of industrial operations supporting civilization like cement production?

Is it even possible for the civilizational structure of the OECD countries to exist at a per capita emission of as low as 1Gton?  I don't think it is.  Zero human caused carbon emissions does not seem to be a physical possibility.  Not to mention that eventually the warming is going to trigger the methane emissions in the arctic to increase and we count for that as well.

Back to Premise 1:  Civilization is not sustainable.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: What was your footprint last year and ways to reduce it?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 08:49:47 PM »
"Does that calculator you are using take into account your per capita share of all the multitude of industrial operations supporting civilization like cement production?

Is it even possible for the civilizational structure of the OECD countries to exist at a per capita emission of as low as 1Gton? "

I'm pretty sure the folks at myfootprint have figured these things in, generally speaking. IIRC, if you input the same data but locate yourself in, say, Malawi rather than the US, you get a significantly lower footprint. But this is not a direct measure of Gt C, so I can't speak to that directly. In general, these are likely very generous measures (the opposite of what most of my students assume when I ask them to take it).

And, yes, ultimately civilization, in most imaginable versions, is not sustainable long term.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."