Saturday, March 01, 2008

Earthlab carbon footprint calculator

MY SCORE 235 6.3
WORLD 338 14

Thanks for the comment and link to earthlab. I tried their carbon calculator and the above shows my personal carbon footprint. I know that cutting carbon emissions is reasonable and possible with a personal commitment to it and although the government seems to want the same, its actions are still the direct opposite.

The whole world is dominated and geared towards mobility from one place to another. Although the message about local shopping is beginning to hit home, we still need to consider the wider community and its impact. Local shopping not just for goods but using local people and tradesmen for their services.

In my area 6 post offices are closing; two of them will be replaced by a mobile service ( a van in a car park).This means that people who currently use a local post office withing 3 miles from their home are going to need to make extra effort to access one. Post offices do not just send parcels; you can bank with them, save with them, pay your bills there and meet a person. Customers often ask me; does the ATM work here and my answer is to offer them a choice: they can use the machine or they can speak with a person. Mostly they choose the person. If the government in an effort to cut costs continue to close post offices and small local schools, people will continue to choose their cars or other modes of transport to access these services. In any event, they will be using fuel or electricity to access basic services, With the price of fuel, electricity and gas going up this seems more like punishing people than encouraging them to make different choices.

For example, if you car needs its annual inspection and you usually use a garage 15 miles away, you might well take you car in, do some shopping and then collect it at the end of the day. Alternative would be to look at a small garage nearby ( who is also authorised to do this annual check), take the car, walk home or ask them to drive you home. You will not only have saved fuel, time and opportunity to consume but you have provided work and remuneration for a local person. The outcome should be the same and may even be lighter on your pocket. I just never thought about it before because out of habit I continued to use the garage I had always used even though my transport requirements had changed.

That is of course if you have a car. As mentioned previously, I may not drive my car but there it is, still needing maintenance checks, regular controls etc until I take the next step. Disposing of a car also has implications.


NJD said...

182, but I suspect much of that is due to not driving, flying or having much heating!

Anonymous said...

Mine was 300. I doubt if this is accurate as the average US footprint is 'only' 325. I drive less than 3000 miles a year, have never flown, do all the right things and there are only two of us in the house. The footprint calculator asks how much I spend on fuel, I expect I would be using much more per buck in the US, but I live in the UK. Also I have registered one adult at this address. There was nowhere to put my 6ft+ sixteen year old.