My Carbon Footprint

For a variety of reasons, I will be primarily riding a bike or taking the bus rather than driving a car once I move to my new city in a few weeks.  These reasons include saving money on gas and parking, the exercise benefits of riding a bike, and doing my part to save the environment.  In order to quantify the last part, I used a website to calculate my carbon footprint.  The results were not as good as I had hoped.

Last year, living with three roommates in a four-bedroom apartment and driving a Honda Accord a low to moderate amount, I produced approximately 15 tons of carbon dioxide.  Next year, the main changes will be almost no driving (I will be occasionally using a car sharing service that uses hybrid cars), but I will be living by myself in a one-bedroom apartment.

But even though my new driving habits will save 2 tons of carbon dioxide per year, and my new state produces cleaner electricity (less coal), my carbon footprint comes out exactly the same!  I have to admit that I am somewhat disappointed that whatever environmental benefit I will create by not driving will be offset by my living on my own.  Oh well, I still come out better than if I lived on my own AND drove every day.

One thing that I left out: my cross-country flights for grad school visits last year produced 7 tons of carbon dioxide.  I don’t think there’s much risk of me repeating that this year, as no one will be reimbursing me for flights this time around.


4 Responses to “My Carbon Footprint”

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  1. 1 Going Greener With Alternative Power « The First Excited State Trackback on September 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM
  2. 2 Moving Beyond Petroleum — Bike Sharing « The First Excited State Trackback on July 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM

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