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Thread: What's your carbon footprint?

  1. #1

    Default What's your carbon footprint?

    With Copenhagen in the news and a lot of discussion about who is willing to commit to cut their energy usage by what amount I thought it might be apposite to draw attention to how much energy we all use as individuals and how sustainable it is.

    You can take a short test here to see what your footprint is and how that fits with how much energy the world can produce.

    It's a very general test that should only be thought of as a rough estimation and I chose this one over some more detailed calculators to make it easier for people who might not have exact information on expenses and energy usage and such.

    This is me:

    It's relatively low for someone who lives in an industrialised country and the average carbon footprint for a Briton is apparently ten tonnes.

    I don't drive, live in a shared house and recycle a fair bit and I also haven't flown anywhere in the last year, although that's likely to change in the next twelve months. A lot of that stuff is down to my lifestyle - I don't have a family to support and have relatively few responsibilities at the moment. Things like owning a car might well become more necessary depending on where I'm living and working in the future. But even relatively modest as my usage is at the moment, it still represents a disproportionate amount of energy.

    So, what's yours? And what are your thoughts about how we use energy or about the upcoming Copenhagen summit?

    NB: Please don't use this thread to argue about whether you believe in climate change or not. Energy usage is a relevant issue if you do or don't because we produce energy from predominately finite sources and how we are going to meet the demands of a growing and developing population is a concern irrespective of the veracity of man-made climate change.

  2. #2


    here's mine: WWF Footprint Calculator

    Mine came out to be 3.08, but that's to be expected because I drive a Mustang with a 347 that gets about 15 mpg at the very very best, so ya know.

  3. #3


    Your footprint is
    # food 31%
    # travel 7%
    # home 25%
    # stuff 37%
    1.88 planets
    We've also calculated your carbon footprint, which is 6.43 tonnes per annum

    Not bad really. Although I don't take it all that seriously, and find the whole 'carbon footprint' thing quite middle class and sickening.

  4. #4


    I clicked everything that was 'energy efficient', and still got 1.35 planets. Bah humbug.

  5. #5


    Mine worked out to about 16.68 tonnes/year. But I find the methodology employed suspect, if not flawed. Take the car one for example; it only allows you to enter car usage in hours per week. But I only burn about 7 gallons of ULSD per week. Surely that would give a significantly more accurate number on that front. Next, housing. I live in a detached house, but its a very small one. Add to that the fact that I have a timer thermostat, so the temperature goes down during the day (up in the summer).

    But, all in all, its a useful tool for estimating your energy usage. And yes, regardless of your stance on climate change, and unless you generate all of your energy from renewable resources, we as a society need to start seriously conserving energy.

    My biggest bugaboo on energy is the corporate intransigence on the issue. If you've ever lived in, or driven through the coal states, you'll see big billboards telling us how coal is green, and there is plenty of it, and not using it will destroy our economy. My electric company even sent out a mailer telling us in doomsday terms that solar and wind can't possibly work because the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine.

  6. #6


    1.94 planet earths
    6.82 tonnes

    I took another test like this when I was in highschool. It was designed in such a way that if you live in North America, you automatically get an extra 2 planets added onto your score. I like this test better.

  7. #7


    Your footprint is 1.96 planets
        * food 28%
        * travel 11%
        * Home 22%
        * stuff 39%
        * We've also calculated your carbon footprint, which is 6.68 tonnes per annum
    Although at no point did they ask me about my 110/month electricity bill

    And who the hell considers 14-17C to be a "comfortable" temperature?! I am in noticable pain (thanks, RSI) if the temperature around my desk is below 19C, and 20C is definitely preferable. Sure, the temperature can be lower if you're being active, but I generally am very inactive while I'm at home :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie F View Post
    Although I don't take it all that seriously, and find the whole 'carbon footprint' thing quite middle class and sickening.
    I have to agree with this. It's a little bizarre.

    As is the idea that solar/wind power is going to get us out of our very real energy problems (as Jaiden says, whether you believe in climate change or not, we *are* going to run out of oil, gas and coal sooner rather than later). Solar and wind both produce a tiny amount of electricity, and require massive areas of land to be used to get any real gain... and then people get all NIMBY about wind turbines >.< I really want nuclear fusion to become viable, but in the meantime I seriously don't see anything except nuclear fission being the answer.

  8. #8


    I dont have a carbon footprint, I drive everywhere

  9. #9


    Looks like I'm the most roootenist-toootenist-pollutinest guy here. You're living as if we had 4.64 planets to support us but we only have one. Wow, 4.64 planets, * food 16%
    * travel 34%
    * Home 26%
    * stuff 24%
    * We've also calculated your carbon footprint, which is 22.88 tonnes per annum

    Well, I do live in a rural area, so I do have to drive quite a bit. I don't keep the house all that warm, but I don't recycle, and I probably should change that. So yeah, I guess it really is my fault, lol

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie F View Post
    Not bad really. Although I don't take it all that seriously, and find the whole 'carbon footprint' thing quite middle class and sickening.
    Eh, I think it's easy to be dismissive about this sort of thing. It has a certain image and association and the carbon footprint thing itself is a bit gimmicky, but it's a way of getting people thinking about important matters. We aren't living sustainably and that needs to be addressed both by reducing consumption and increasing efficiency and by finding new ways of producing energy. That transcends borders of class, nationality and all that business.

    People need to be aware of what they use and shouldn't take it for granted just because it's been easily and readily available for the last few decades. There's an unhealthy separation between production and consumption generally in our society.

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