And so all things must end including the Slate/Treehugger Green Challenge carbon diet. In this final action quiz I pledged to reduce my carbon load by 617 lbs or .06 cars.
This brings my total reduction to 8498 lbs (~.89 cars) off of my original footprint of 18274 lbs (~1.83 cars), a 47% reduction to a new total footprint of 9776 lbs, which appears to be less than the equivalent of one car so I’m assuming that the statistical cars used for these calculations must be gas guzzlers because I can’t seen how my footprint could be less than a car since I do, in fact, own a car, and did not plan to purchase any carbon offsets.
Regardless of imaginary cars, though, the final quiz focused on home and office issues, and I pledged to use recycled paper, avoid printing emails whenever possible, reduce my garbage by 25% and replace the monitor with an Energystar model.
I’d already done these things, except the garbage which – based on unscientific calculations – has been reduced by at least 50% just by recycling all paper. I’m basing this on the fact that it now takes three weeks to fill my garbage can instead of one.
If I could recycle the dog shit in the backyard, I’d probably be able to save the world myself. But I scoop it up so that I can use the unpowered hand mower that I’ve had for a few years now, which was another item on the action quiz that I’ve already got covered.
My action quiz results included the following information:
- Switching to 100 percent recycled paper for your home office can save about 75 pounds of CO2 per person per year.
- Reducing your garbage by 25 percent saves about 500 pounds of CO2 per person per year.
- Replacing your home fax machine with an Energy Star-rated one saves about 82 pounds of CO2 per person per year.
Overall, this whole thing hasn’t really opened my eyes to anything I didn’t already know. In most cases, I was already doing the things that they are encouraging.
I guess that bottom line is that climate change is one of those issues in which anyone can make simple, easy changes that when combined with others doing the same can ripple outwards and have effects far greater than we might initially imagine.
Not everyone can do everything, but I think anyone can make some changes. All it requires is changing a few habits.