Thursday, April 05, 2007

Results of People's Carbon Emissions Tracking Part I


The meeting of Green Drinks Tuesday at The Times in downtown Boston was a good one. There must have been 30-40 people at the peak. The fact that the Conservation Law Foundation sponsored it by buying some tasty pub treats and that the location was convenient to the masses that work in the city were good things to boost attendance. Thanks CLF!

I have started to receive people's comments about their quest for understanding their carbon footprint bu calculating their carbon emissions for the month of March. As expected, when it comes to taking the time to actively complete an exercise like this we are mostly all talk. It's what I expected. In fact, the first respondent's motivation came from guilt (as quoted below). We are all "guilty" of contributing to GHG emissions, but we all have to start somewhere to initiate change. I am hoping that the real comments I get from consumers trying to calculate their carbon emissions.

The first report comes from a recent MBA graduate of the Sloan School at MIT and founder of the Going Green on line community, Doerte Sennecke. I have included her comments verbatim with her permission. I have to admit that I HAVE NOT investigated the sites she mentioned...yet.

April 2007

Finally, my bad conscience was strong enough to trigger me to take on Wayne’s challenge from March’s Green Drinks Happy Hour. He was generously sponsoring our drinks in exchange for asking us to track our carbon emissions for the month of March.

Therefore, I went to Google and Typed in carbon footprint. Wow, a neat list of related links popped up. That was easy. Why did I procrastinate? :-)

Please find below my experience with the various carbon footprint calculators on the Internet:

Website #1
Carbonfootprint
It is a detailed calculator on an annual basis. Well, it is asking for numbers like annual electricity and car mileages that I don’t really have easily available since I have changed my housing multiple times since summer 2006. I did not move on.

Website #2
ClimateCrisis
Pro: This is a very straight-forward calculator. It took me less than a minute.
Con: It does not take factors like meat consumption into consideration...
My result: 2.5 tons (the national average was given as 7.5 tons for the US). I don’t own a car which really helped me out here ;-)

Website #3
British Petroleum
Pro: This is a straight-forward calculator. It took me about 2 minutes. It shows the results graphically and updates you on your progress while taking the survey.
Con: It does not take factors like meat consumption into consideration...
My result: 7 tons (the national average was given as 18.58 tons for the US). I don’t own a car which really helped me out here ;-)

Website #4
Safe Climate
My result: 44 kg per month
In summary, I spent about half an hour on Wayne’s task and ended up more confused about my actual carbon footprint than before using the above calculators and seeing the conflicting results. For now, I will stick with using Earthday's calculator. I am proud to report that I have gradually reduced my consumption of meat to reduce my ecological footprint since taking the quiz last year.

2 comments:

Dee said...

Hi Wayne,

how have you been doing? Are the Green Drinks still on? I have been away from Boston for a while but am back and hoping to be green here again ;)

Best,
Dee

Wayne Maceyka said...

Hello:

Looks like there's one coming up 5/22 http://www.bostongreendrinks.com/#!events