This blog is plastered with the phrase CARBON FOOTPRINT and one of the primary goals of our family is to reduce our carbon footprint. But, what’s a carbon footprint?
Your CARBON FOOTPRINT is a measurement of 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 greenhouse gases that are produced by our lifestyle and choices.
The primary goal of the Ferry Family is to reduce our carbon footprint. The term encompasses all of our decisions: reducing our waste, purchasing organic, supporting local businesses, eliminating packaged products and artificial chemicals from our home and harnessing sustainable methods for sustenance.
I calculated the carbon footprint for the Ferry Family for 2009. It is data for our household as a whole – the three of us. This information came from a wonderfully informative website www.carbonfootprint.com. It is a plug and chug set up, where you input the information and the website generates your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, our footprint for 2009 looks a little too much like a footprint…
This information will be be recalculated at the end of 2010 and presented here.
Your Carbon Footprint:
|House||6.17 metric tons of CO2|
|Flights||1.01 metric tons of CO2|
|Car||16.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Motorbike||0.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Bus & Rail||0.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Other Fuel||0.88 metric tons of CO2|
|Secondary||8.97 metric tons of CO2|
Total To Offset = 33.02 metric tons of CO2
Below is a detailed list of the questions that were answered and the information that was entered. The information is based on real data: e.g. PSE electrical bills for 2009, odometer readings for vehicles, etc.
- 1.82 metric tons: 16,353 kWh of electricity in Washington
- 4.36 metric tons: 752 US gallons of propane
- 0.50 metric tons: Round trip, Economy class direct return flight from Bellingham to Oakland
- 0.50 metric tons: Round trip, Economy class direct return flight from Bellingham to San Francisco
- 12.81 metric tons: 20,000 miles in a 2007 TOYOTA TUNDRA 4WD 5.7, Auto(S6)
- 3.18 metric tons: 8,000 miles in a (1994 Ford Taurus 4 door) Medium gasoline car from 1.4 – 2.0 litre
- 0.88 metric tons: 100 US gallons of petrol (40 gallons for our lawn mower, 50 gallons for our boat, 10 gallons for our ATV)
PERSONAL SECONDARY: these variable questions were answered based on lifestyle choices for 2009
- Food preferences: I eat a mix of white and red meat
- Organic Produce: I never buy or grow organic food, or don’t know what we buy
- In season food: I try to buy or grow some in season food
- Imported food and goods: I don’t notice where goods come from
- Fashion: I buy new clothes when I need them
- Packaging: I only buy things which are nicely packaged
- Furniture and electricals: I mostly buy new but generally keep things for more than five years
- Recycling: Some of my waste is recycled
- Recreation: I often go out to places like the movies, bars and restaurants
- Car manufacture: I own two cars
- Finance and other services: I use the standard range of financial services
After calculating our carbon footprint, the website offered the following “products/services” to offset our family’s personal carbon footprint… The prices ranged from $12.00 per tree to $20.00 per tree. The average calculation was approximately one tree per ton of CO2.
The data illustrated the oxymoron that is the American lifestyle. It’s expensive to live it and expensive to clean up after it. It makes sense that energy saved is a dollar saved.
I don’t like seeing the numbers for 2009. But, we are into 2010 and we are making conscious decisions to reduce our carbon footprint. Onward and upward!