Carbon Footprint


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Overview

INDIVIDUAL

The carbon footprint idea arose out of several attempts to determine the impact individuals have on our earth, regarding an individual’s use of carbon emissions, by analyzing various aspects of one’s lifestyle. Primarily, the use of transportation used in one’s life, and the home utilities used determine most of the carbon footprint ‘score’. ‘Offsets’ have been introduced that reduce the ‘score’, if the individual engages in sequestration activities– deploying carbon absorbing biologics, such as planting a tree, or using car pools. Understanding the ‘individual’ carbon footprint model(s) is important to expand this model to businesses and communities/local governments.

Here are a few examples of individual carbon footprint calculations/offset information. These are random search engine ‘hits’ and seek to promote no specific ‘platform’, or ’cause’.

These sites require several vague, or hard calculations or ‘quesstimates’ regarding the components like miles/times traveled, or airline miles to determine the ‘score’, but are quite useful in educating individuals in their impact on the environment, and how to ‘offset’ one’s footprint.

For example, through the marvels of technologies, we can purchase strawberries year-round, but when we understand that we need to add in the carbon emissions needed to deliver non-local produce to us, from foreign markets, we see the impact on our ‘score’, and the advantages to buying locally and seasonally, or better yet - grow your own, support local farmers markets, or join a local community garden.

BUSINESS

A small portion of the business world has embraced this concept, and consulting companies have formed to analyze and benchmark a business’s footprint, and consult with the business to reduce that ‘score’.

Here are a few examples of individual carbon footprint calculations/offset information. These are random search engine ‘hits’ and seek to promote no specific ‘platform’, or ’cause’.

COMMUNITY

There are now organizations that have are beginning to establish ‘community’ carbon footprint analysis, to establish a benchmark, and provide advice on various methods to improve the community ‘score’.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) [www.iclei.org]
‘ICLEI’ is an organization involved in community sustainability. As the international sustainable development and environmental agency for local governments, ICLEI provides information, delivers training, organizes conferences, facilitates networking and city-to-city exchanges, carries out research and pilot projects, and offers technical services and consultancy. They also provide software and tools to help local governments achieve their sustainable development goals. There are 513 members, which include global partners. In the bay area, cities like Albany, San Francisco, San Rafael and Santa Cruz, and counties like Alameda are active members.

Here are a few examples of individual carbon footprint calculations/offset information. These are random search engine ‘hits’ and seek to promote no specific ‘platform’, or ’cause’.

Here are a few examples of individual carbon footprint calculations/offset information. These are random search engine ‘hits’ and seek to promote no specific ‘platform’, or ’cause’

Upcoming Event
On December 6, the Sustainable Moraga group is sponsoring an ICLEI speaker, Timothy Burrows who will speak about the program and how communities like Moraga can embrace this initiative. Please check our main website page for the location and time.

Draft outline of the components that make up a community carbon footprint analysis.

CARBON FOOTPRINT FOR COMMUNITIES

TASK
How to define, understand, analyze, structure, promote, create, expand, grow in numbers, define/develop social channels, acceptance, internalization and succeed…

  1. Analyze
  2. Offsets
  3. Educations
  4. Reductions
  5. Legislation
  6. Feedback
  7. Legacy

Analysis

  • Use of hydro-carbons (petroleum derivatives, PVC, plastics, etc)
  • Understanding of concepts like ‘food-miles’ Amount of carbon based fuels used to bring food year-round to US tables)
  • Definition of metrics (how to measure)
  • Analyze the ‘personal’ carbon footprint concept/analysis to communities

Offsets

  • Carbon sequestration – deploy carbon absorbing biologics (plant a tree)
  • Renewable energies
  • SRI’s
  • Sustainable forums/groups/information sites
  • Sustainable projects – recycle batteries, reduce use of plastic bags, CFL bulbs
  • Recycling
  • Composting
  • Using recycled products

Education – “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”

  • Sustainable Community efforts/measurements
  • Intra-family
  • Academics
  • Neighborhood
  • Web sites/web forums/blogs
  • Youth programs

Reductions

  • Macro (using green energies)
  • Micro (home energy management – light bulbs, grey water, home installation of energy saving devices
  • Less is better
  • Buy local
  • Use recycled/found materials

Legislation/Politics

  • Understand/employ Green Politics
  • Use established utilities to promote alternative fuels
  • Support green initiatives
  • Outlaw BBQ liquid fire starters

Feedback

  • Demonstrate positive feedback
  • Working models
  • Develop new metrics
  • Establish then/now benchmarks

Legacy

  • Hopefully……..

Community

  • Conservation
  • Gardens
  • Green spaces
  • Recycle organics
  • Health programs
  • Farmers markets
  • Workshops

Geo

  • Land use
  • Air
  • Water (watershed quality)

Businesses

  • Established policies
  • Recycling bags, etc.
  • Using green energies
  • Selling green products
  • Sustainable participation

Gov’t/Town

  • Initiatives
  • Planning boards
  • Incentives

Transportation

  • Public
  • Carpools
  • Staged traffic lights
  • Alternative automobile fuels

Individual

  • Begin here………….calculate your own…