Reducing our carbon footprint

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Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby Nick » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:30 am

I just wondered what everybody else is doing to reduce their carbon footprint?

I do some simple things like this:

- bringing my own (plastic) bags for shopping
- I eat less meat
- I lower my room temperature (one degree saves about 6% energy I think)
- I buy used things
- driving slower on the Autobahn (in Germany, there is no speed limit, but faster speeds means more exhaustions)

How about you?
I would like to get some more ideas for reducing my carbon footprint.
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby ads » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:42 pm

The number one thing anyone can do is to not fly. Sure, you can do things at home but they will pail incomparison to the emissions of air travel. And sure, you can offset but many offsets are a con and even if they are bonafide you're better off not polluting in the first place. It's an inconvenient truth because it's fun to travel, but at least you live in a place where rail travel is fairly cheap and efficient (unlike Australia!).
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby davidg » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:48 pm

I'm a very bad, bad person :( I have my own aircraft. 8-)

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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby australsolarier » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:03 am

ads,
most people do not fly every day. i am sure you have a break down ready why you think it is "number one".

also i am sure you have an answer how to get to europe with a smaller carbon foot print.

i am very keen for your answers
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby ads » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:17 am

No, but many people in developed countries fly once or twice a year, which is more than enough to cause catastrophic climate change (sorry to get heavy but it's true). No I don't have a break down. However if you do your best to make your household more efficient, install PV, etc then you may be able to reduce household emmissions by significant amounts (say 30-50%). Air travel is an extremely emmissions intensive activity. If you don't fly for a year then you emit nothing this way, which is a 100% drop in this form of emmissions.

Look, I know this is a tricky question and no it's not easy to get to europe any other way from Australia. I am from the UK originally and recently flew to Europe to see friends and family so I'm not saying never fly. All I am saying is try to cut flying as much as possible, take a break in Australia instead of SE Asia.

Reducing flying is the single most effective way to cut your footprint, but of course it's not the only one. I don't want to hijack this post so go ahead anyone else who has other ways to do it.
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby australsolarier » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:32 pm

i am just wondering,
say taking the train from sydney to darwin. then somehow by boat (there are no scheduled ferries) to singapore. then on to europe again by train. (a bit through either cambodia or laos by bus). how much smaller would the carbon foot print be?
plane from sydney to zurich via singapore return is 5.5 tons of carbon emission. this equals about 5.5 megawatt/hours of coal generated electricity?
the carbon emission of a plane equals that of an average car single person riding.
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby australsolarier » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:42 pm

my modest contribution to reducing the carbon foot print:

-2.23kw grid feed system
-small island system running computer or fridge and freezer chest in an emergency
-solar hot water
-solar space heating system
-double insulation on roof space
-floor insulated
-double glazing
-wood stove to cook, heat and hot water
-outdoor solar shower
-all used lights led
-ute converted to lpg
-house all wood except ceiling and roof
-very low energy fridge and freezer
-at the time most efficient small air conditioner (hardly ever used)
-walking to work
and some other small things
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby Smurf1976 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:56 pm

So far as flying is concerned, in Australia the major airlines use about 10% of all oil fuels. The biggest user is road transport (petrol and diesel), with the rest being used for trains, ships and non-transport applications (industry etc).

Given that the total amount of oil used is broadly similar to the total amount of fuel (coal and gas, with a very minor amount of oil) used for electricity generation it seems fairly clear that aviation contributes far less to emissions than does power generation as a whole given that aviation is only 10% of the oil use. That said, for an individual it's certainly possible that air travel would be a major contributor to emissions especially if they fly regularly and don't use much electricity or gas at home.

In my own case, air travel would indeed be the largest contributor. Looking at the past 18 months, I've been on about 30 flights whereas I only use about 350 litres of petrol a year in the car and my household energy is predominantly renewable (solar, hydro from the grid since I'm in Tas, wood). So air travel would certainly be the largest source of emissions in my own case. I don't know exactly how much it would be but it would be more than the rest put together I'd expect.
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby davidg » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:11 pm

I read someplace forgotten where, that medium and high rise buildings globally contribute to about half of all electricity consumption around the world. When you look in to what it takes to run these buildings it's little wonder they consume so much power. :o
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Re: Reducing our carbon footprint

Postby jimbo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:55 pm

I own an off grid house BUT

I fly regularly and drive a very thirsty car, however my work revolves around preserving land/natural habitats which is much more important that Co2 emissions will ever be.
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