Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Carbon Cost


Last night BBC's Panorama program was based on Ethical Man from Newsnight. Over the space of 1 year this BBC journalist and his family tried to reduce their carbon footprint and live an environmentally ethical life. It started life as a regular feature on Newsnight but panorama took it and edited it together to make a 30 minute documentary. It made interesting watching, though I'd seen most of it already when the pieces were originally broadcast.

After my Mars post and watching this program I was inspired to check something. People always say that airlines and foreign holidays produce the most carbon so I decided to calculate how much my trip to Australia produced. 4 tons of carbon in flights alone. It may or may not seem like a lot of carbon but consider that the average footprint for a person in the UK is 10.92 tons, or if you live in America 19 tons.

Over one third of my footprint for the year was used in one trip. I guess I now owe the world a few CFL bulbs, convenient timing when you consider that there are 3 light bulbs that need to be replaced in my apartment. That said I don't own a car and I walk to work every day so I think I have a few spare carbon points to allocate towards foreign travel, but not 4 tons.

3 comments:

Seamus said...

I am topping 50 tonnes a year. About 95% of that is from air travel.

I am way beyond CFL bulbs...
http://www.sliabh.net/?p=788

Declan said...

50 tonnes? Bloody hell, did your feet ever touch the ground outside airports?

Seamus said...

143 days out of the country last year on 93 flights. I think the number will go up now as rumour has it Greenpeace have a hit squad after me.