(First written 12/9/06)
The average Brittish household has a “carbon footprint” (10.9 tons of CO2 annually) just over half the size of the average American’s (19 tons.) I extrapolated these recent Carbon Trust calculations to come up with an estimate for each (on average) American household’s greenhouse gas production. Of course, these don’t get at the energy demands at the workplace, by the military, etc., which have huge footprints. But this information does make it plain that individuals can make a difference through plain ordinary conservation and a few life-simplifying steps. And, individual consumption choices obviously trickle down (?up) into the manufacturing sector.
- Recreation: (trips, leisure activities, hobbies, etc.)
- Heating and cooling:
- Food: (production, transportation, storing, cooking, etc.)
- Housing (physical building and contents, lighting, etc.): 2.6 tons
- Hygiene: (bathing, cleaning, sewage, laundry, cleaning products, etc.)
- Air travel:
- Education: (schools, books, trips, etc.)
Questions for us: (1) Are we above or below average? (2) Could we reduce our footprint without hardly noticing? and (3) Will we?