Carbon Footprint

I took a test this morning to see what the carbon footprint for Tiny House Ontario is.

Here are the results

House 0.03 metric tons of CO2
Flights 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Car 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Motorbike 1.22 metric tons of CO2
Bus & Rail 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Secondary 1.76 metric tons of CO2

Total = 3.01 metric tons of CO2

It went on to say:

  • Your footprint is 3.01 metric tons per year
  • The average footprint for people in Canada is 20.00 metric tons
  • The average for the industrial nations is about 11 metric tons
  • The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 metric tons
  • The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 metric tons

It is a pretty good result, but I have to say that I am very surprised to learn that I am over consuming in the secondary section.  Here are the answers that I gave:

Carbon Footprint Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.44.03 PM

I guess this means that next year I have to hope for a better growing year so that I can reap as much as I sow. I am not sure how else I can reduce really as my bike is essential for me to get around and I really don’t buy much besides food and things to complete THO.  This gives me a lot to think about!

What are your results?  Do you see any way that you can reduce this number?

_____________________________

Update: I just found that an acre of 15 year old forest will carry 1-2 cubic metres of carbon per acre.  THO forest is at least 9.5 acres of forest which means that it likely carries at least 19 cubic meters… not sure still what the different measurements are, but this does make me feel a little better.

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Categories: Off Grid, Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Carbon Footprint

  1. Pingback: Carbon Footprint 2013 | Tiny House Ontario

  2. Baia

    I think the secondary usage has a lot to do with the fact that you buy SOME new clothes and go out sometimes to movies, bars, etc. Those are businesses and you have no control over what they do, at least as far as this survey is concerned.

    But they’re generalizing all places.

    Shop at the salvation army – you can get surprisingly good quality and save the environmental cost of purchasing new clothes. Be mindful about the events you go to and ensure that they are also doing their best to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Choices like that won’t show up on your survey, but they will be meaningful. You’ll also be contributing to encouraging society in general to behave better about conserving our world. I’m going to go ahead and assume you already knew all that anyway, I just felt it needed to be said.

    Really, it seems like you’re doing pretty damn well.

    • Thank you Baia!
      I am glad that you addressed this. I thought about this a lot too.
      I do go to the movies sometimes (perhaps 15 times in the past 5 years) and I do also go out to dinner which I will do less although I really do enjoy meeting friends for a meal or coffee and I won’t change this because I don’t do so very often and think it is important to have some life experiences! 😀

      I also think that they set the survey up to reflect the average in going out and purchases. But I think that I am on the way lower end of “normal” consumption of stuff by today’s standard and I think the same holds true for all we Tiny Housers. We simply cannot buy a lot of stuff!

      As for clothing last year for example, I purchased a new pair of boots, 3 dresses, 3 undershirts, One pair of PJ’s, 6 pairs of socks and 6 new panties. I have no problem with buying used clothing (except under-clothing and shoes for hygiene reasons). The 3 dresses that I bought were from a small local shop that specializes in unique fair trade artsy items. They were new… but also ethical purchases.
      What I mean is that I think I am below average in my purchasing but there was no way to indicate this.
      I will need to have my jeans taken in this year too, but personal clothing re-cyling (mending) and making do with clothing too, isn’t mentioned.
      In short, I am not totally convinced that the number is really as high as it indicates – BUT, I probably google enough to make up for this… eek!
      I also agree… I did know these things but perhaps others do not and because you made this valuable comment, hopefully others will consider this as well.
      Happy Salvation Army shopping to you and thanks again for your insightful comment.
      xo
      L

  3. elainelwalker

    Hi,

    I thought you might be interested in the Tiny House Fair in Vermont, June 14-16
    http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm.

    Regards,
    Elaine

  4. Laura – i do believe it is a bit easier to live mindfully, when living near others who share the same mindset, and in supportive community. It might do away with duplication of tools and equipment, sharing and barter for materials and services. You might conceivably reduce the carbon footprint if living in a co-housing type of situation. I think that at the latitude we live in, in Canada, heating becomes a huge issue, which perhaps might be ameliorated by pod-type, clustered architecture.
    It is a challenging concept to live well within a just means. I applaud you! G

    • Thanks G,
      Interestingly THO is not what is using too much – it is me shopping, eating, travelling.
      Shared tools is a great idea!
      Still, I have work to do this year… hopefully I can bring this number down!
      xo
      L

  5. If you are still between where we need to be to save the planet and the average worldwide CO2, then the rest of us have a long way to go.

    • Hi Lois, you are optimistic and it is true what you say, there is a LONG way to go. I can’t control this. I wish I could. I see so many hugely wasteful things around me every day and it makes me loopy.
      This said, I am so surprised that I am over consuming; actually… surprised and ashamed.
      The land I live in is all forest – I took out a few small trees and shrubs for the lane but THO was built in a spot where there had been a lighting strike a few years ago – and the fire cleared out a few trees. You can see the spot on Google Earth – which is cool I think. I estimate that 9.5 acres are pure natural forest. So this is a good offset. Problem is, I can’t figure out if the forest offsets me enough to bring me down to the target. It may just, but still I would like to drop below target in 2013.
      The only thing I can do is get better!
      xo L

      • Tiny steps, you have done so much already you will figure it out. I too am trying to take one step at a time to reduce my footprint. The last time I took the quiz I came in just over 4, so not good.

      • Lois, this is an exceptionally good number for a city dweller. I don’t know what the numbers are for the Hamilton house. I will do these as well. I expect that they will be high. That I live here only 4 months a year makes no difference, because this is still part of my footprint until I take the plunge!

      • I just looked at my little Hamilton house and included my husband’s carbon footprint in this. Again the little house is not bad… He flies for work all the time and drives back and forth to work and to THO to see me. The Carbon footprint for him and the house is 12.43, so as a couple we are disasters! The two of us together are using 15.44! UGH!

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