Action 2: How heavy is your carbon balloon?

Carbon footprints get discussed a lot. Do you know your load on the environment?

Carbon Footprint (noun): the amount of greenhouse gases and specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by something (such as a person’s activities or a product’s manufacture and transport) during a given period.

We can calculate our carbon footprint in detail through calculators online and this takes some serious accounting for our daily tasks and conveniences.

How heavy is your carbon balloon?

Each of the following activities add 1kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint:

  • Travel by public transportation (train or bus) a distance of 10 to 12 km (6.5 to 7 miles)
  • Drive with your car a distance of 6 km or 3.75 miles (assuming 7.3 litres petrol per 100 km or 39 mpg)
  • Fly with a plane a distance of 2.2 km or 1.375 miles
  • Operate your computer for 32 hours
  • Production of 5 plastic bags (how many have you used or have in your home right now)
  • Production of 2 plastic bottles (how many have you used or have in your home right now)
  • Production of 1/3 of a cheeseburger (yes, the production of each cheeseburger emits 3.1 kg of CO2! It has a very large carbon footprint)

Take yourself to the “Environment” page of your journal and record your usage of the above 7 activities to create a total for the year.  Below is an example to help you calculate the carbon weight this year (excluding other activities that are not listed).