28 June 2010

Carbony Factoids

Another book I read for the challenge was How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Joanna Yarrow. At first it was kind of irritating and even contradictory at times, but I got into it because the author did something very helpful: she quantified the "greenness" of the actions. By presenting the methods and explaining how many pounds of CO2 it would save, you can actually get an idea of the actual impact these actions would really make. I also learned some pretty cool facts. While I recommend reading the book, it is quick and cute, hardly a "book" more like a "fast-find resource," here are some of the highlights"

  1. Manual transmission are overall more efficient and, just as I suspected, once you are 45mph, keeping the windows down is actually less gas efficient that running the fans or light A/C.
  2. The difference between disposable diapers and cloth diapers (over the average time of use) is 200lbs of CO2. This is the same amount of CO2 you can "save" by bringing a reusable mug to work instead of using disposable ones every day or by taking the train from NY to Boston instead of a plane. (Both generate 4 digits worth of pounds of CO2 so basically having kids is the bad decision here…)
  3. Formula cans are the devil when it comes to generating trash. I guess people don't realize that they can be recycled like any other aluminum. (Granted some cans are now fancy cardboard, but those can be recycled too!)
  4. I was also right when I nag my DH about not using the huge stove burner for the tiny little pan. The simple act of correctly matching task to pan and pan to burner can be a huge CO2 saver!
  5. I can feel a bit virtuous for not ever doing my hair or ironing since both of these things add up fast.
  6. Setting up my composter (I know you are all getting sick of this, but it is the current obsession so just run with it) could save up to 700lbs of CO2. Amazing!
The book also inspired me to look up CSAs in CT and since there are several available I am hoping to join one if we stay in the area. Give this one a read and you will be surprised by how much you are already doing right. See? Isn't it amazing what you can learn when you pick up a pound of dead trees a book?


Check out more great lists at abdpbt.com courtesy of Listless Mondays.


Alicen said...

I also just learned about CSA's a few months ago and we have a fabulous one nearby, they even do half shares which would have been perfect. I would have totally signed up this year if it wasn't for the DH being gone in June and the entire family being gone in August. It's certainly something I will be looking into when we settle down for a couple years. The thought of fresh, local produce most of the year is almost too much to bear!

ABDPBT said...

#1 is interesting, and actually makes sense, when you think about it in terms of wind resistance on the car. Also, it gratifies my desire to continue to use air conditioning instead of rolling down my windows.