Now, that it is May and we are approaching the hump of 2012, I figured it was time to unveil the Ferry Family’s Carbon Footprint for 2011. This is my annual tradition (albeit one that it is usually done much earlier in the year, but who’s counting) and is a way for me/you/the whole wide world to gauge where we are as far as consumption goes and what choices we are making that have added up to our carbon footprint.
I looked at our answers and our consumption and I am really not sure how much more we can reduce our usage. I am going to reevaluate things as the year progresses, but it is my hunch (and slight fear) that we have reached our minimum, or are at least we are very near it.
Side note: January 1, 2010 was the kick off point for our family’s project and our goal of reducing our carbon footprint. The term “carbon footprint” refers to the impact that you as an individual and/or household have on the environment. It is measured in metric tons (tonnes or kg) and is equivalent to the number of gases that are produced by our lifestyle and choices.
I have calculated this footprint for 2009 and 2010 using the uber-informative and extremely helpful website www.carbonfootprint.com. The set-up on the site is a standard plug and chug format where your carbon footprint is calculated using the information entered. The Ferry Family’s “2009 Carbon Footprint” and “2010 Carbon Footprint” are viewable on tabs at the top of each blog page.
So, without further ado – since you’ve been buzzing with anticipation for almost six-months now – I present to you our 2011 Carbon Footprint.
Your Carbon Footprint for January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011:
House 3.33 metric tons of CO2 2010: 3.94 metric tons of CO2
Flights 0.00 metric tons of CO2 2010: 2.27 metric tons of CO2
Car 7.39 metric tons of CO2 2010: 6.31 metric tons of CO2
Motorbike 0.00 metric tons of CO2 2010: 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Bus & Rail 0.00 metric tons of CO2 2010: 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Other Fuel 0.34 metric tons of CO2 2010: 0.35 metric tons of CO2
Secondary 4.28 metric tons of CO2 2010: 4.28 metric tons of CO2
Total To Offset = 15.34 metric tons of CO2 2010: 17.14 metric tons of CO2
- Your footprint is 15.34 metric tons per year
- The average footprint for people in United States is 20.40 metric tons
- The average for the industrial nations is about 11 metric tons
- The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 metric tons
- The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 metric tons
HOUSEHOLD – 3.33 metric tons
- 1.60 metric tons: 14,372 kWh of electricity in Washington (2010: 15,322kWh)
- 1.74 metric tons: 300 US gallons of propane (2010: 386 US gallons)
FLIGHTS – 0.00 metric tons
- We didn’t fly anywhere because Jacob and I were both too shell shocked from our trip in late 2010 with two year old to ever.think.of.flying.again. Our reaction to Beckett’s mid-flight toddler behavior inadvertantly shaved a bit off our carbon footprint. (2010: 2.27 metric tons)
AUTOMOBILES – 7.39 metric tons
- 3.91 metric tons: 21000 miles in a 2007 Toyota Prius 1.5 (2010: 3.91 metric tons in a 2007 Toyota Prius)
- 0.77 metric tons: 2000 miles in a [1995 Honda Accord 4 door] Medium gasoline car from 1.4 – 2.0 litre (2010: 2.40 metric tons in 1994 Ford Taurus)
- 2.70 metric tons: 6000 miles in a [1986 Chevy 1/2 Ton Pick-up] Large diesel car over 2.0 litre (I wish that they had a bit for adding in that this vehicle runs on biodiesel, but they don’t have that option…)
GASOLINE – 0.34 metric tons
- 0.34 metric tons: 40 US gallons of petrol including 35 gallons for our lawn equipment, 5 gallons for our ATV (2010: 0.35 metric tons; 40 US gallons)
PERSONAL SECONDARY – 4.28 metric tons
These variable questions were answered based on lifestyle choices for 2011. My bit of input is in parentheses below. This number and the choices we are making in regards to these questions are identical to 2010.
- Food preferences: I eat mainly white meat
- Organic produce: I only ever buy or grow our own organic food
- In season food: I only ever buy or grow in season food (I was unable to figure out how to calculate the dozen bananas we purchase most grocery trips. This is our only habitual out-of-season produce/food purchase.)
- Imported food and goods: I mostly buy local
- Fashion: I only buy secondhand clothes (This is with the exception of underwear, socks, bras and an occasional “treat” – occasional meaning once or twice a year total)
- Packaging: I only buy things with very little packaging
- Furniture and electricals: I only buy essential equipment and use it until it wears out. You don’t know how BAAAAD I want an i-phone (everything looks better with instagram!), but my phone is still working just fine. I keep telling myself. It’s just fine. Just fine.
- Recycling: Most of my waste is recycled (or composted!)
- Recreation: I occasionally go out to places like the movies, bars and restaurants. Two kids, well even the one for most of 2011, put a major damper on date nights and particularly anything involving taking children into a restaurant where they are confined to a table/booth/car/highchair/lap.
- Car manufacture: I own two cars. Here’s the thing – we own three cars, but only drive two. We pay insurance on two (not the truck), unless we need to drive it and then we turn off our Honda’s insurance and add the Chevy back on to the policy. So… I say it’s two cars, but you could call it three.
- Finance and other services: I use the standard range of financial services