Estimated Carbon Costs

As this is a quiet month with little to report, I thought it opportune to consider some of the real costs of this trip……..


Footprint Country

Average World


Your Carbon Footprint:

House 2.10 tonnes of CO2

Flights 3.32 tonnes of CO2

Car 2.93 tonnes of CO2

Motorbike 0.00 tonnes of CO2

Bus & Rail 0.00 tonnes of CO2

Secondary 3.27 tonnes of CO2

Total = 11.63 tonnes of CO2

I have visited and completed a few online ‘Green/Carbon footprint calculators’. Pretty consistently, based on current behaviour,  I (we) am coming out at about 12 tonnes per year, three and a bit of which was a long haul flight to/from Cape Town earlier this year. According to the WWF that equates to 2.63 planets being available. According to ….

Your footprint is 11.63 tonnes per year

The average footprint for people in United Kingdom is 9.80 tonnes

The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tonnes

The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes

The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tonnes

So if we don’t fly we are ‘below average’ it seems (8.3 tonnes), but still way above the world average and 400% above what’s needed to combat climate change.

We have made changes, for example we don’t drive locally any more. I either take my electric scooter or hybrid handcycle into work (and have done for a few years now). Rachel walks or cycles. We have reduced the number of miles driven (in a 2.5 litre diesel VW Transporter) to less than 7000 a year. I liked to think that this was pretty good for a guy who doesn’t walk – but clearly there is more to do. Certainly flights need careful consideration. Currently our planned trip will involve a one way!

Land Rover include a point of sale carbon offset that enables customers to offset their own emissions for 45,000 miles. In theory this ‘offsets’ our trip handsomely (estimated at 17000 miles) – although the Azalai conversion carbon costs and build are not included. That said,one can’t ignore the paradox here – and I hope that we will continue to strive to reduce our impact.

So not justification exactly, but a santimonious pricking of the collective concience (yes the paradox being it looks like yours as well as mine!). And I guess that’s the main (albeit remotely) positive argument that I can lay down – that doing this trip could raise people’s awareness of green issues…..

Anyone remember Alf Garnett’s ”Smoking for Britain’ rant? The logic here is not much better I’m afraid.

For the year of the trip (so including home and away time) we can each estimate

House 1.59 tonnes of CO2

Flights 1.66 tonnes of CO2

Car 10.77 tonnes of CO2

Motorbike 0.00 tonnes of CO2

Bus & Rail 0.00 tonnes of CO2

Secondary 2.29 tonnes of CO2

Total = 16.32 tonnes of CO2

Although the ‘car’ footprint will be between us so nearer 11 tonnes total each.

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