Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is your carbon footprint?

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry at the start of the year, I plan to start thinking about my carbon footprint. So yesterday, I tried to compute the carbon footprint for my household (meaning me and MG) for 2008.

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the result. That is one big footprint!

Average footprint for a Filipino is only 0.97 tonnes per year? Just 0.97?!? What's that attributed to, breathing for one year? (I don't get this part, really.)

The amount of CO2 emission attributed to our trip to the US last year is about 6 tonnes. And that's just for MG and me, two people. Imagine how many people are in the plane so how much CO2 emission is attributed to the entire plane? It appears to be a crime against nature to fly :( This trip was a big contributor to our huge footprint last year. Removing it from the equation brings our household's carbon footprint down to about 8 tonnes per year. That means 4 tonnes each for MG and me... just about the the world average.

So how do I reduce my impact to the environment? I don't recycle personally BUT I do give my recyclable materials (PET bottles, newspapers, plastics) to some kids who collect them on weekends. I assume they sell those to people who recycle them. I mean, what else do they do with those? So I am recycling indirectly and helping people earn a living as well. That should count right?! There are also organizations who offer to offset your carbon emissions for you for a fee (about $20 per tonne offset based on a few websites I've visited) but they are overseas and I want to perform the offset here in my country. I thought about planting trees. Based on my annual average carbon footprint (4 tonnes), I need to plant 4 trees per year. That's 8 trees every year for MG and me.

Wow... where am I going to plant 8 trees per year? No matter, I will do something about this before the end of the year.

To calculate your carbon footprint, visit http://www.carbonfootprint.com.

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