Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How Many Earths do you Really Need?

How many planets?
Did you figure out your carbon footprint through Zerofootprint’s calculator? I did. My annual carbon contribution is 8.1 tonnes of C02 per year. This is at par with the average person from the UK. According to Zerofootprint, if everyone consumed the same as me and the Brits we would need 1.5 earths to survive. And this is after all the work I’ve done to reduce my C02 emissions from a year ago.

I still have a ways to go.

Compared to the average Canadian, though, I’m not doing half bad. If everyone on the planet lived like the average Canadian, we’d need 1.9 earths. Imagine if everyone managed to live like the average American. We’d need 2.3 shiny blue planets. American Dream or American Nightmare?

Compare this to folks in…

India: .03 earths
China .05 earths
Japan .05 earths
South Africa .07 earths
Mexico: .09 earths

Isn’t it ironic that India and China are working awfully hard to live like North Americans when really we North Americans need to learn to consume as much as them.

My Annual Goal
I may not get to a point to match someone in India by this time next year, but I will commit to reducing my carbon footprint by 10% by next July (needing 1.35 earths). To accomplish this goal, I will focus on the following:
  • Have an energy audit done on our house to find out where Jane and I can make it more energy efficient. Based on the findings, we will execute the more affordable suggestions and do our best to save our money for the more expensive.
  • Increase the percentage of local and organic food in our diet and avoid packaged foods as much as we can. This means eating in season, more visits to farmers markets and for next summer expanding our garden to rely more on vegetables we grow ourselves.
  • Fly less – a challenging task as I fly chiefly for work.
  • Resist printing as much as I can.
  • Ride my bike until it snows rather than retiring it in October. In fact, I pledge to stop being such a princess and to ride my bike nine months of the year rather than six months.

To Do this Week – Calculate your carbon footprint and make a plan on how you will reduce it by 10% by July 2008. I know you can do this because you are awesome!

In the News
Ontario’s Phase Out of Coal
The Premier gets legal with his promise to phase out coal. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is happy but demands legally binding requirements for interim annual reductions in coal use. Sound good to you? Tell the Premier.

Bag Lady Chic
Like, only the really cool people are totally green.

Other News
Green Bloggers

Ecoshock Radio

Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

BBC – The Greenroom

New York Times – Environment


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