Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Carbon neutrality

For those considering going carbon neutral this year, The Good Human has a guide to which company to choose for carbon offsets. As an American site, it focuses on American companies, however there is an option for New Zealanders: CarbonZero. They have a handy calculator which uses NZ rather than US emission levels (which matters particularly for electricity), and sell their credits for about NZ$22 / ton. Best of all, their credits come from native forest regeneration projects certified by EBEX21, which means there is a significant ecological co-benefit as well.

While I'm on the subject, Celsias.com - a New Zealand company which seems to be working towards a private cap and trade system - has a blog on climate change news.

(Hat tip: Carnival of the Green at Hippyshopper).


That is very useful indeed (the CarbonZero stuff), I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to do something like this for our household. The sensible time to do it would be when the power bill comes in, then I could just check the monthly speedo on my car, plug the other numbers in and voila!

Posted by Span : 1/09/2007 02:10:00 PM

That's what I'm (supposed to be) doing. I have a spreadsheet, and I use the CarbonZero calculator to calculate my monthly emissions. I've slacked for a few months, but the credits have been purchased, so its no big deal. But sometime soon I need to work out last year and whether I've gone over my household target, then buy more for next year.

The problem is finding ways to reduce my footprint when much of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/09/2007 02:22:00 PM

We went through this exercise last year, and at the moment have our total household carbon emissions down to 2.4 tonnes/annum (for two people). This seems to be somewhere around the 1.2 tonnes/person/annum that various pundits seem to think is sustainable. The keys were:

- Changing the electricity supplier to Meridian, which uses 100% sustainable power. This means our emissions from household electricity usage drop to zero. Yay!
- We drive about 8,000kms per annum (we use public transport to commute), and this generates about 2.3 tonnes of CO2 given that the car emits 287 grammes per kilometre. We can pretty much cut this by 40% if we sell the petrol machine and get a diesel instead, which (hopefully) is on the list for later this year.
- The rest of the emissions are in the gas hot water and sundry rubbish disposal. We do the obvious stuff - composting, recycling, energy-saving lightbulbs, yada yada yada - but realistically this is just mucking around on the margins.

I figure we can be down to a few hundred kilos a year if we change to a diesel car and run it on biodiesel ...

All this stuff is trivially easy, and for the life of me I can't understand why we even have a problem with domestic CO2 emissions in this country.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/09/2007 04:27:00 PM