How much carbon can you create in a year?

The Guardian.

The UK government has pledged to cut emissions by 20% before 2012, to around eight tonnes per capita. It further aims to reduce national emissions by 60% before 2050, to around four tonnes each. These are good targets to adopt as personal goals, although ultimately we should all be aiming for the global allocation of two tonnes each.

Kick the Habit says that, for individuals, “less than 50 percent are direct emissions (such as driving a car or using a heater).” About 20 percent are caused by the creation, use and disposal of products we use; 25 percent comes from powering workplaces; and 10 percent from maintaining public infrastructure. You can drive your car less and turn down the heat, but consider ways you can affect business and government policies that could tap into that other 50-plus percent.


From Manicore

Let’s get back to figures: in 1990, our CO2 emissions amounted to 6 to 7 billion tons of carbon (often noted 6 to 7 GtC, G standing for the prefix “giga” that means a billion in the scientific notation). So independently of what was decided in Kyoto, a goal that has a “physical” meaning for the world is to get down to 3 Gt per year at most. 3 GtC for 6,5 billion human beings (about to become 7 to 9 in 2050) means, if we equitably allocate the “emission right”, 460 kg of carbon (that is 1,7 tonne of CO2) per person and per year

Best Carbon calculators

15 chosen by Earth Matters

And these from the Guardian

and this one has some good stats

Air con

In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else—16% of total electricity used.  In warmer regions AC can be 60-70% of your summer electric bill, according to Austin Energy.  This is where the savings are folks, not in worrying that you left your cell phone charger plugged in too long.

Central AC is simply an energy hog.  A window unit AC uses 500 to 1440 watts, while a 2.5-ton central system uses about 3500 watts. That’s a lot of power.  A floor fan uses only 100 watts on the highest speed, and ceiling fans use only 15 to 90 watts depending on speed and size.

Carbon saved by recycling your waste: to see the original and all its links go to do the green thing.

According to a household waste study by the Open University for DEFRA, 2 the average household produces 18.6 kg of waste per week made up of the following:

Cardboard & paper 3.8 kg
Dense plastic packaging 0.7 kg
Ferrous packaging (steel & tin cans) 0.4 kg
Aluminium packaging 0.2 kg
Miscellaneous metal (ferrous and non-ferrous) 0.6 kg
Glass packaging 1.7 kg
Textiles 0.3 kg
Putrescible kitchen waste 3.1 kg
Garden waste 2.9 kg
Misc. combustible waste (DIY combustibles) 3.3 kg

Miscellaneous plastic (e.g. plastic coat-hangers, plastic film) 0.6 kg
Sanitary wastes 0.3 kg
Misc. non-combustible waste (brick, rubble) 0.6 kg
Dust & ash 0.1 kg

Most of this waste  can be recycled. The following shows how much CO2 can be saved if each is recycled rather than landfilled.

Carbon emissions for each waste type (in tonnes of CO2e per tonne of material): 3

Cardboard & paper (1.5 tonnes CO2e) = 5.7 kg CO2 for 3.8 kg
Dense plastic packaging (2 tonnes CO2e) = 1.4 kg CO2 for 0.7 kg
Ferrous packaging (1.5 tonnes CO2e) = 1.05 kg CO2 for 0.7 kg 4
Aluminium packaging (10 tonnes CO2e) = 5 kg CO2 for 0.5 kg 5
Glass packaging (0.5 tonnes CO2e) = 0.85 kg CO2 for 1.7 kg
Textiles (8 tonnes CO2e) = 2.4 kg CO2 for 0.3 kg
Putrescible kitchen waste (4.5 tonnes CO2e) = 13.95 kg CO2 for 3.1 kg
Garden waste (1 tonne CO2e) = 2.9 kg CO2 for 2.9 kg
Misc. combustible waste (take as wood – 1.5 tonne CO2e) = 4.95 kg CO2 for 3.3 kg

This comes to a total of 38.2 kg CO2 per household per week, or 16.6 kg CO2 per person per week. 6

A vegetarian Diet

But controversial as the findings may sound, comparing the respective impact of different foods based on their calorie content isn’t new or radical.

“If you stop eating beef, you can’t replace a kilogram of it, which has 2,280 calories, with a kilogram of broccoli, at 340 calories. You have to replace it with 6.7 kilograms of broccoli,” Tamar Haspel wrote last year for the Washington Post. “Calories are the great equaliser, and it makes sense to use them as the basis of the calculation.”

It is very difficult to truly measure the carbon cost of eating or not eating meat.

becoming a parent could lead to a legacy of 262 times more carbon emissions than failing to convert to energy-saving light bulbs, are you still keen to start a family?

The transportation sector is the second largest source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Transporting goods and people around the world produced 22% of fossil fuel related carbon dioxide emissions in 2010.

Carbon Producers

– Electricity & heat (24.9%)
– Industry (14.7%)
– Transportation (14.3%)
– Other fuel combustion (8.6%)
– Fugitive emissions (4%)
Agriculture (13.8%)
Land use change (12.2%)
Industrial processes (4.3%)
Waste (3.2%)

These sectors are then assigned to various end uses, giving the following results

Road transport (10.5%)
Air transport (excluding additional warming impacts) (1.7% )
Other transport (2.5%)
Fuel and power for residential buildings (10.2%)
Fuel and power for commercial buildings (6.3%)
Unallocated fuel combustion (3.8%)
Iron and steel production (4%)
Aluminium and non-ferrous metals production (1.2%)
Machinery production (1%)
Pulp, paper and printing (1.1%)
Food and tobacco industries (1.0%)
Chemicals production (4.1%)
Cement production (5.0%)
Other industry (7.0%)
Transmission and distribution losses (2.2%)
Coal mining (1.3%)
Oil and gas production (6.4%)
Deforestation (11.3%)
Reforestation (-0.4%)
Harvest and land management (1.3%)
Agricultural energy use (1.4%)
Agricultural soils (5.2%)
Livestock and manure (5.4%)
Rice cultivation (1.5%)
Other cultivation (1.7%)
Landfill of waste (1.7%)
Wastewater and other waste (1.5%)

It should be stressed that there is a fair degree of uncertainty about the precise contribution of some activities, especially those which include biological processes such as land use change and agriculture. Indeed, the total contribution from deforestation is much lower in the data above than it was in the equivalent figures from 2000, due to a change in the underlying methodology – as described in the WRI’s accompanying paper (pdf).


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