Saturday, 23 April 2016

My impact on the planet.

I decided to compare my impact on the planet from travelling round the world for two years and two months with living at home for the same period.

I have calculated my environmental impact from here

Flights (Tonnes of CO2)
London to Mumbai: 1.01
Delhi to Bangkok: 0.32
Ho Chi Min to Hanoi: 0.13
Beijing to Singapore: 0.62
Singapore to Sydney: 0.87
Brisbane to Christchurch: 0.27
Auckland to San Francisco: 1.55
Calgary to Mazatlan: 0.35
Cancun to Habana (return): 0.14
Cancun to London (via NY): 1.15
Total impact due to flights: 6.41 tonnes of CO2

I am sure the figures used on the website to calculate the impact of flights are based on a full plane, sometimes the plane was not full and therefore my impact would have been greater.

During my time in these countries I was outside all day not using electricity or heating/AC. I never used AC in all the time I travelled in the hot countries.
I used heating and was indoors more (but not that much). Calculation TBC.

Overland travel
I was going to argue that the overcrowded buses and trains that I took would be running whether I was there or not but that would not be fair. It is going to be difficult for me to calculate this section so I will do more research.

Other bad environmental impacts of travel
Whilst travelling around the less developed countries I used a lot of bottled water, I would fill up the bottle where I could. It would have been better for me to use a small coal filter type water bottle.

Total impact on environment: 9 tonnes of CO2 (TBC - based on assumptions)

Home life
Driving to work, 30 miles per day at 30MPG = 7500miles = 5.26 tonnes of CO2 over two years. (15,600 miles total)*
Driving to Bradford/Cinema/Supermarket etc. = 9,000 miles = 3.15 tonnes of CO2 (assuming 30 miles a week extra travel on top of commuting and four trips home a year to Leeds from Oxford)
Total impact due to car use: 8.41 tonnes of CO2

Electricity and Gas over two years: 0.31 tonnes of CO2 (living in a house of 4 people, amount TBC)

I am assuming that during this 2 years at home that I take no holidays abroad. From now on I refuse to do any long haul flights for short holidays, For any two week holiday I will spend it in Europe.

Total Impact on Environment: 8.7 tonnes of CO2

*I did car share whilst working. For the first year that I worked I had at least 1 passenger, sometimes 4. For the second and third year, I was mainly solo. For the last year I would car share with one other person for at least 3 days a week. This would factor down the figure to ?????? based on an average over my four years of work, but I am calculating this for the average person and not many people car share.

There is not a significant difference between living at home for two years and travelling round the world, which I find a little disturbing. The commute to work at home was the biggest killer, the solution I have found is to not work! After working in Canada with no commute I realised how much of my life was wasted to commuting. I blame urban sprawl and horrible business parks. In the future I will try to eliminate the need to commute or at the most cycle to work, I know this is easier said then done.

As far as travel goes, it would be good to see people travel locally for short brakes (2 weeks), within the Continent that you live. To totally stop short weekend holidays. As far as long distance travel goes, I don't think people will give these up. But instead take longer trips less frequently, it is cheaper and more rewarding. It would be nice to see employers allowing this, maybe once every four years allow a holiday of 6 or 8 weeks.

1 comment:

hdavidjohn11 said...

You should come down & try my electric bike Charlie: very eco friendly!!!