Oct 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

The topic of this year's Blog Action Day is climate change. I'm not about to go all EPA on you ... if you're reading this, you're probably a hippie-liberal like myself and are totally on board with the whole We're Suffocating Mother Earth in Greenhouse Gases thing. The question remains, "what can I do about it?" P.S. The EPA's children's site is much more my speed, sad to say.

For a while now all the cool kids have been talking about "reducing your carbon footprint." And when I lived in C'ville, I knew I was not doing so well with that. I would routinely drive to visit my family (300 miles round trip) or my friends (200 miles round trip) every other weekend. I drove to work, even though I lived within walking distance. I had moderate success with recycling, but I quickly lost interest in composting. I went on a number of international trips and flew domestically fairly often. The only reason I can write all this now is that I've changed/will be changing many of these things, and thus am not as shamed as I used to be.

So I figured my carbon footprint must be HUGE. Like, astronomical and offensive to god, right? For this year's Blog Action Day, I decided that confession is good for the soul. And so I give you, My Carbon Footprint (from the last three years).

So I've clearly outstripped the world target by a factor of five - I was expecting that. What surprised me is that my footprint is HALF the national average. Sure, I didn't routinely burn enough coal to heat the neighborhood or use a rocket-pack to get to the grocery store, but seriously? That's kind of sad.

Clearly, the amount of traveling I was doing was a problem. Well, that's been taken care of - as my loyal readers will remember, I've sent Sheldon (my beloved Corolla) home with my parents. My dad usually drives him to work instead of his minivan (which is certainly less fuel efficient than Sheldon) - two birds, one stone! What I really need to work on, it seems, are all my "Secondary" issues. These are things like buying organic/local/seasonal foods and ... recreation? The one thing I don't like about this calculator is that it doesn't provide direct links with explanations. I know why I should take a walk rather than go to a restaurant in terms of my waistline, but I'm scratching my head as to what exactly that has to do with climate change.

I guess the moral of the story is that there are lots of things we can do, not all of which may be intuitive. For my part I will continue the Great Public Transportation Experiment, check out the year-round fresh food market for some grub, and maybe try to incorporate some "zero carbon activities" into my free time. What about you?


Maggie Cats said...

I can't use the calculator thing since all my utilities are paid by my condo building and I have no idea what my contribution is. But since I take public transportation every day for work, recycle, try to buy organic, and walk to the shopping center for errands whenever possible, I feel like I'm in good shape. Oh, and I switched to energy efficient light bulbs! Even though it means the dimmer on my dining room light doesn't work as well...stupid fluorescent bulbs.

Monkey Sri said...

And when we come to your house you cook for us, instead of ordering out! I don't know why that helps, but apparently it does :-P