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Environment Climate Change, Pollution, Endangered Species, Industrial Agriculture, Degrading Habitats & Renewable Energy.

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Old Jul 31st 2011, 04:14 PM
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Default How big is your...

... carbon footprint?
Have you driven and flown places, where more environmental means of transport could have served the purpose, or have you always been a great user of public transport and walking or running?

I have flown a lot around Europe, but I have always been a great walker and runner.
I don't drive a car, but I'm going to start learning tomorrow.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: How big is your...

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
... carbon footprint?
Have you driven and flown places, where more environmental means of transport could have served the purpose, or have you always been a great user of public transport and walking or running?

I have flown a lot around Europe, but I have always been a great walker and runner.
I don't drive a car, but I'm going to start learning tomorrow.
While owning/driving a car is the most obvious source of one's carbon footprint, the studies I've read have shown that one's place of residence has a huge impact - possibly larger than the car/no-car distinction.

That is to say, small single unit dwellings standing alone (in northern climates) have horrifically high carbon footprints because of the massive amount of energy needed for heating and air conditioning.

Living in a high-rise multi-unit building represents an enormous decrease in carbon footprint due to the reduced amount of energy needed for heating and air conditioning.

Likewise, some small devices such as the two-stroke motor (used for lawnmowers, small fishing boats, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, etc) produce so much emissions that an hour of using one of these is equivilent to driving 10,000 miles in a car. Some people use these devices every week. Their carbon footprint numbers are going to be skyhigh.

Also, one's food supply comes with a huge carbon footprint. New Zealand lambchops? Oranges from Spain? Pistachio nuts from Turkey? Sugar from Brazil? Beef from Argentina? The list is endless. These food items are shipped halfway around the world to your dinner plate.

Also, does one drink beer or soda-pop in returnable glass bottles or in recycleable aluminum cans? The energy consumed by making and then recycling those aluminum cans is very large. The energy consumed in making and then re-using glass bottles is massively less of a carbon footprint.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: How big is your...

Well, I live in a high-rise building (polishes halo) and have never owned a hedge-trimmer in my life.
However, I do live alone, so even though I need relatively little fuel for warmth, it all goes to one person (although it's a very small flat, I hasten to add).

That said, I do fly to see my parents quite a few times a year, either to where they live in Norway, or to where they are on holiday in England.

And I'm learning to drive. It's laziness, rather than ecology, that has discouraged me from learning to drive, in the past.

I tend to drink beer from bottles, rather than cans.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: How big is your...

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
Well, I live in a high-rise building (polishes halo) and have never owned a hedge-trimmer in my life.
However, I do live alone, so even though I need relatively little fuel for warmth, it all goes to one person (although it's a very small flat, I hasten to add).

That said, I do fly to see my parents quite a few times a year, either to where they live in Norway, or to where they are on holiday in England.

And I'm learning to drive. It's laziness, rather than ecology, that has discouraged me from learning to drive, in the past.

I tend to drink beer from bottles, rather than cans.
From what I've been reading, airplanes are probably (pound for pound) the absolute worst for harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In themselves, the planes don't produce much in the way of quantity - rather the fact that it is emitted so high up in our atmosphere is why it is so damaging.

It would be nice to see an online calculator for annual carbon footprints that takes into account your place of residence, amount of driving and flying done each year.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: How big is your...

What about technology? TVs, gaming consoles, PCs, cellphones and such all consume electricity mostly derived from fossil fuels.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 10:45 AM
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From what I've been reading, airplanes are probably (pound for pound) the absolute worst for harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In themselves, the planes don't produce much in the way of quantity - rather the fact that it is emitted so high up in our atmosphere is why it is so damaging.

It would be nice to see an online calculator for annual carbon footprints that takes into account your place of residence, amount of driving and flying done each year.
The next obvious step from that calculator would be a tax on what's defined as excessive personal consumption. No different than gas guzzler or luxury tax.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 05:56 PM
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What about technology? TVs, gaming consoles, PCs, cellphones and such all consume electricity mostly derived from fossil fuels.
That could theoretically be calculated based on your zip code. For example, if you draw your electricity from Quebec (such as NY State does) then your carbon footprint is very small because the vast majority of that electricity is hydro-generated (which has a comparatively low carbon footprint)

If you draw your electricity from Louisiana, then your carbon footprint would be very high since the vast majority of electricity generated in Louisiana comes from burning fossil fuels (which has a comparatively high carbon footprint).

It would be interesting to see some data on the manufacture and transport of such electronic goods. I suspect that the carbon footprint from the transport/manufacturing stage probably exceeds the carbon footprint from the lifetime energy consumption from usage. And then there is disposal to consider.

Bottom line is that carbon footprints are almost impossible to calculate for any given product.
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Old Aug 21st 2011, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: How big is your...

Only a few people have answered this question?
Don't people believe the environment is being harmed by human activity?
Or don't you want to think about your own personal responsibility?
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: How big is your...

"Some day you will die and
Somehow something's going to steal your carbon"
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Old Aug 22nd 2011, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: How big is your...

We actually live in a relatively sensible situation for energy conservation. Not as conservative as living in the middle of a high-rise, but we have only one outside wall. Other units on all three sides.

I rarely fly, and I would love to have better rail (and ship!) transportation options for long distances.

My car, though, gets as good as 40 highway mpg (usually I average around 34). It was built in 1995.
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