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.


Seamus said...

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

I am way beyond CFL bulbs...

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.