Thursday, October 2, 2008

My CO2 Emission Savings!

So, at work, they have been issuing these incentive programs for people to start taking the bus or carpooling... pretty much anything other than driving alone.  I signed up on this site for an account, and it made me start thinking about my CO2 Emissions.  I decided to think about how much I have saved by taking the bus!  I did what any self respecting computer nerd would do, and I opened up a new spreadsheet to organize data.

I started by calculating how much CO2 my car produced... then the bus... then the difference... but somewhere in the middle I thought about air-travel... then power consumption at home... and I'll let Microsoft take care of off-setting my power usage at work (Which they do...)

Here is what I came up with:
*** *Miles lbs CO2 from car **lbs CO2 from bus lbs CO2 Saved *Gallons of gas saved Money Saved
Per Month 636 440.83 165.36 275.47 21 $79
So Far: 3,816 2,644.98 992.16 1,652.82 127 $476
This Year 5,724 3,967.48 1,488.24 2,479.24 190 $713
1 Year 7,632 5,289.97 1,984.32 3,305.65 254 $953

* This is based on my 15.4 mile commute to work in a car that gets 28 miles/gallon.
** The CO2 from bus is based on the per passenger average emissions in the US.
*** I combined data from the Sunlight Institute, and for these numbers.

I also estimated that my annual trips to Michigan via airplane produces 10,031lbs of CO2.  Of which, I think about 50lbs could be accredited to me (based on a guess of 200 people on a plane.)

So, this is just some food for thought.  How much CO2 do you produce?

Here is a hint.
Miles lbs CO2 from carGallonsPrice
Linden to Muskeegan 400 77130$113
Linden to Troy 60 41.593$11

*Round trip estimates... 13mpg for work van to Muskeegan, and 20mpg to go to Troy.

back to more about me...

I am also responsible for 2,818.26lbs/year of CO2 from my consumption of [3060KWh of] electricity.  However, this number is most likely higher than my current CO2 emissions because it is based on data from 2004 that I got from the EPA.  According to that data my region: gets 49% of it's power from Hydro-Electric Power plants, 2% from non-hydro renewable, 4% nuclear, 0% oil, 11% gas, 34% coal, and produces .921 lbs of CO2 per KWh.

The national averages are: 2% non-hydro renewable, 7% hydro, 20% nuclear, 3% oil, 17% gas, 50% coal.  So, my power is cleaner than the national average (1.363lbs of CO2 per KWh.)

So, in conclusion my total estimated carbon footprint for power usage, driving my car, riding the bus, and flying to Michigan twice a year comes to a total of 10,142.55 lbs/year of CO2.  In relation, this puts me slightly above the average person in the world, and less than 1/3 the average American's CO2 emissions.
  • The average American produces 36,684.92lbs/year of CO2.
  • The average person on the planet produces 9,788.52lbs/year of CO2.
  • The average person in India produces 2,314.85lbs/year of CO2. (I assume they produce the least.. maybe?)
* data is from

So, I even have a solution for me to become carbon neutral.  In theory, if I donate $55.20 a year to, the money will go to projects that will reduce CO2 in the environment to compensate for the CO2 I produce.  

     I got started on this whole bit because Microsoft has these incentive programs to use alternative methods to get to work.  All of these incentives include the option to either receive a $50 gift certificate to, or to donate $50 on my behalf to  So, essentially just by giving up a gift certificate I am receiving just for going to work, I can compensate for the CO2 I produce.

So, that's all for now.