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Old 11-12-2007, 04:40 AM   #1
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Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Newsweek Project Green | Newsweek.com

I was wondering how Airstreamers in general measure up to the National average. It would seem the more we travel the larger our footprint becomes. Perhaps we need to rally longer.

Anyway I came in at 11 but I guessed very high on most of the fields and had to pick the older truck. I'll see if I can't get hubby to do this.

What is your score?
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:18 AM   #2
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Since driving has the biggest impact we are all bad. However you can buy carbon credits to help make up for what you can't/won't change in your life. For example $160 a year compensates for my car (sans AS), $15 a cross country plane flight.

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Old 11-12-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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I came in at 17.25. The caluculator leaves a lot of information out, so it does not really hold water. Doesn't ask what your fuel mileage is, for example, or ask if your electricity comes from a nuclear plant. To many assumptions to be accurate.

If one buys "carbon credits" who does the money go to, and what do "they" do with it?
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:29 AM   #4
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This is more of an ad. Good idea, poor tools. Carbon credits sound good, but we'll see Indian reservations or the like being used as a scam a la Enron. More work and good legislating needs to be done before it has meaning, legal and otherwise.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:48 AM   #5
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Baby shoes footprint

Looking at the complete picture is something that all of the doomsayers avoid. Seems simple enough. Calculate the total gallons of fuel you use a year. Add to that your electricity/gas bill. Pounds of household trash and there you have it. The last factor probably is negligable. Our cars get 10 (Dodge 3/4 hemi) and 20 (76 Lancia) mpg. I work 5 miles from home and fill the Lancia once a month. Donna works 1 mile from work and fills up about once a month when not traveling. 90% of our auto fuel utilization is for traveling with the twink. Our house is old but small. Probably has the "footprint" of a 2000sq ft house. I'll bet that the biggest part of most folk's footprint is commuting.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:55 AM   #6
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My take on this "carbon footprint" is that it is a scam. There are too many intangibles and individual variations to make a good evaluation. As an example, how does one factor in the California tomatos or Oregon apples or Central American banannas that we buy and eat? How about the guy who heats his house with wood and uses a chainsaw?
How about the President who jets all over the country in that monster airplane, vacations by driving his pickup around his ranch and cuts down brush with his gasoline powered chainsaw while being safeguarded by a Secret service squad??
AHA, I see the next Cabinet position opening up!
The Secretariat of Carbon!
sorry
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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I don't think it's a scam nor is it the final word or infallible. But it at least gives some idea of yuor energy use and maybe gets people thinking how they might conserve- which isn't a bad thing no matter your opinion of the issue. Kind of like conserving your batteries while boondocking- but on a grander scale!
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam
I don't think it's a scam nor is it the final word or infallible. But it at least gives some idea of yuor energy use and maybe gets people thinking how they might conserve- which isn't a bad thing no matter your opinion of the issue. Kind of like conserving your batteries while boondocking- but on a grander scale!
What he said.

I essentially quit driving to work about 3 years ago, and as long as there isn't too much slush I've been riding my bike in. It varies between 2-13 miles each way, but it's much better than driving. Yes, even in the rain. I used to think there was no way to ride to work in our town, and if I think like a motorist, that's nearly true. Murphy's laws of combat apply here: "There is always a way; the easy way is always mined."

I wrestle with owning the Great Big Truck and I absolutely loathe pouring gas into it. But... We'll put around 3500-4000 miles on it this year, most of that associated with pulling the trailer.

And what of the trailer?
Is the environmental impact of a hotel really that much smaller than a campground (offsetting the marginal cost of travel to, supply of, etc etc etc)? I'm not sure, particularly in coastal areas.

Do I better teach my kids to respect & appreciate things out of doors by hauling them to Natural History museums instead of taking them on hikes, letting them play in creeks and experience snakes, voles, and other fauna?

I don't think the answers are simple.

As for the test, Combined for Redsheds is an 8.4. (5.2 + 3.2) Not horrible, I guess, for the four of us
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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I did that footprint thing about 6 months ago. I don't remember what my number was.I ran the same information as someone in France and the number was one half of that as an American. How can that be? Energy use is energy use, it should'nt make a difference where one lives. It's all politics. LJH
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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I did the carbon check thing a while back and found that the info you input makes all the difference in the world as to what your outcomes are. I made one small mistake in my data entry and really skewed my results.

In the end, I still have to drive to work and back, to the store and back, etc.

Carbon credit buy backs sound like some form of graft or almost a religeous type of "atonement". If you buy in to this whole idea, how does paying someone/thing decrease your energy use or decrease your emissions output?
Dave
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:56 AM   #11
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How about because France gets most of its electricity from nuclear and not coal, oil and gas?

Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJH
I did that footprint thing about 6 months ago. I don't remember what my number was.I ran the same information as someone in France and the number was one half of that as an American. How can that be? Energy use is energy use, it should'nt make a difference where one lives. It's all politics. LJH
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
\ how does paying someone/thing decrease your energy use or decrease your emissions output?
Dave
They invest the money in "green" projects - renewable energy and the like. It helps build the infrastructure that will let people have better choices in the energy they use.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #13
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Try it anyway

The Newsweek Carbon Footprint Calculator is a good start to understand how each of us play a part in our environment. I agree that this particular set up is not accurate, but hey, try it out just to get an idea of what this is all about.

We came up with a very low 3.3, before we added the Airstream travel. The calculator only allows one vehicle, so what I did was to fill out the form with our commuter vehicle, a Prius, and then go back and change that field using our TV, Ford F250. I was able to determine what the truck would be, 6.2, and added to the original number and came up with 9.5.

So it looks as though our Airstream travel leaves twice the carbon footprint of our house and cummuting, that says quite a bit, even though we have an energy efficient house house and a hybrid car, our travels push us over the average.

I guess we need car companys to start making cleaner and more fuel efficient tow vehicles.

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Old 11-12-2007, 12:26 PM   #14
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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!! If we don't know about something, we'll never do anything about it. This, at least, will get one or two of us thinking about our
footprint and then MAYBE do something about it. After reading about this entire political mess, I have to agree with my wife - one of us should have gone into politics - then we could afford to 'stream around the country.
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