28 tons a year

Did some math using the EPA’s Carbon Emissions calculator today. Looks like our household generates about 28 tons of Carbon a year. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Our cars – 10 tons
  • Electricity/gas for our home – 17.5 tons
  • Waste – 0.5 tons

A real eye opener for me.

Its pretty safe to assume that households in third world countries generate nowhere close to this much. I was thinking of my own childhood growing up in India. We did have a car, but it was used mainly for leisure trips and driven nowhere near as much as my family does now. We did not have central air conditioning or heating systems in any of the homes we lived in (we lived in some extreme climes where we could definitely have used these). We used ceiling/table fans for cooling ourselves and blankets/sweaters to warm ourselves. We did not generate even a 100th of the waste my family generates today. We simply did not consume as many goods with elaborate packaging and we did not throw away anything until it had served every ounce of its life. Could I get my family to change so we start living that sort of a simpler lifestyle ? Probably not. But could we do something to reduce our emissions ? I think so – there’s a number of very simple suggestions available here which we are going to try.

I recommend anyone reading this do the math for themselves and look for ways to conserve.

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