2010 carbon footprint

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.

In early 2010, I calculated our carbon footprint for 2009 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” is viewable on a tab at the top of each blog page.

This past week – during a short respite from the endless nausea – I calculated our carbon footprint for 2010.  I waited until well into 2011 so that I had real, quantitative and accurate data to work with (gallons of propane used, kWh of electricity used, etc…).  I wanted to see if the bits and pieces had added up.  If our small decisions that were made throughout the year added up to big results.  And, if the conscious choices to reduce our waste, purchase organic, in-season produce, and support local had translated into tangible data.

Without further ado – I present to you our Carbon Footprint for 2010.  The long and short of it is: we reduced our carbon footprint from 33.02 metric tons of CO2 to 17.14 metric tons of CO2.  BAM!  That’s a reduction of 52%!!  The detailed breakdown is below with the questions we answered and the data that was plugged in.  I also put the information from 2009 next to this year’s data, so you could see where the changes were.  If you’d like to see our entire calculation for our 2009 Carbon Footprint – click here.

I am happy.  I am happy that I am bringing this baby into a healthier household and healthier family.  I am happy that the little bits and pieces added up.  I am happy that we are now less than the average household’s carbon footprint.  And, I am happy that you all are here with us and enjoying, supporting and willing this project along.  Onward and downward {!!} in 2011!

Your Carbon Footprint for January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010:

House                                   3.94 metric tons of CO2               2009: 6.17 metric tons of CO2

Flights                                  2.27 metric tons of CO2               2009: 1.01 metric tons of CO2

Car                                         6.31 metric tons of CO2               2009: 16.00 metric tons of CO2

Motorbike                          0.00 metric tons of CO2               2009: 0.00 metric tons of CO2

Bus & Rail                           0.00 metric tons of CO2               2009: 0.00 metric tons of CO2

Other Fuel                          0.35 metric tons of CO2               2009: 0.88 metric tons of CO2

Secondary                          4.28 metric tons of CO2               2009: 8.97 metric tons of CO2

Total To Offset = 17.14 metric tons of CO2 2009: 33.02 metric tons of CO2

  • Your footprint is 17.14 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
Your footprint is 16.54 metric tons per year The average footprint for people in United States is 20.40 metric tons The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 metric tons
Your
Footprint
Country
Average
World
Target

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 (Puget Sound Electricity) bills for 2010, propane usage readings for 2010, odometer readings for vehicles, etc…

HOUSEHOLD

  • 1.70 metric tons: 15,322 kWh of electricity in Washington (2009: 16,353 kWh)
  • 2.24 metric tons: 386 US gallons of propane (2009: 752 US gallons)

FLIGHTS

  • 0.83 metric tons: Round trip, 2 adults [2 tickets] Economy class direct return flight from Bellingham, WA to Las Vegas, NV
  • 0.69 metric tons: Round trip, 2 adults, 1 child [3 total tickets] Economy class direct return flight from Seattle, WA to San Jose, CA
  • 0.75 metric tons: Round trip, 2 adults [2 tickets], Economy class direct return flight from Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA

AUTOMOBILES

  • 3.91 metric tons: 21000 miles in a 2007 Toyota Prius 1.5 (2009: 12.81 metric tons in a 2007 Toyota Tundra)
  • 2.40 metric tons: 6000 miles in a [1994 Ford Taurus 4 door] Medium gasoline car from 1.4 – 2.0 litre (2009: 3.18 metric tons in same vehicle)

GASOLINE

  • 0.35 metric tons: 40 US gallons of petrol (35 gallons for our lawn equipment, 5 gallons for our ATV)

PERSONAL SECONDARY 4.28 metric tons

These variable questions were answered based on lifestyle choices for 2010.  My bit of input is in parentheses below.

  • 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 half dozen bananas we purchase every 2 weeks.  This is our only 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
  • Recycling: Most of my waste is recycled (or composted!)
  • Recreation: I occasionally 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

One Response to 2010 carbon footprint

  1. Pingback: carbon footprint 2011 | The Sacred Bee's Blog

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