Sunday, February 16, 2020

Carbon Footprint

Data from Jan 2021

Aeroplan now sells offsets through less.ca instead of through offsetters.ca and the prices are now $20/tonne.

 2700 aeroplan points per tonne of CO2e
 3200 aeroplan points per tonne of CO2e
14000 aeroplan points per $100 gift card
100 / 14000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
2700 * 0.0071 = $19.17/tonne
3200 * 0.0071 = $22.72/tonne

Data from Feb 2020

I found myself with a bunch of air miles, and looked into how to use them. Then I discovered that the cost of my family's carbon footprint is quite low:
- 52 tons of CO2e / year
- offset for $426 or 60k air miles ($8.23/tonne)

You can also buy direct but at a worse rate:
- offsetters.ca ($20/tonne)
- carbonfootprint.com ($10.76/tonne)

What is the value of a mile?

see a sloth              $195 / 31,000 = 0.0063 (bad rate)
cirq du soliel gift card $200 / 27,000 = 0.0074 (good rate)
most gift cards           $25 /  3,500 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
most gift cards           $50 /  7,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
most gift cards          $100 / 14,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
most gift cards          $150 / 21,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
most gift cards          $200 / 28,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)
most gift cards          $250 / 35,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)  
most gift cards          $500 / 70,000 = 0.0071 (normal rate)  

So lets say that you get 0.0071 $/mile
60k * 0.0071 = $426

What is the cost of offsets?

With 15,000 air miles you can buy 13 tonnes of GHG offsets through offsetters.ca which (at 0.0071) is $8.23/tonne. That appears to be the same product that's sold directly at $20/tonne. It's not clear what accounts for the cost difference, or what is the quality of the offset. I.e. planting trees for later harvest doesn't actually offset the release of fossil carbon.

A 2010 press release listed 7,500 Aeroplan Miles for 3.2 tonnes with a 20% match from aeroplan. It's now listed as 7,500 Aeroplan Miles for 6.5 tonnes. Another press release says the offsetters GHG through aeroplan is a collection of Gold Standard projects, so it appears to be the $20/tonne product.

How much GHG does my family's lifestyle cause?

From the Guardian in 2008: "The annual carbon footprint of the average Briton is around 10 tonnes".

From NRC Canada in 2019: a not very helpful equivalency calculator.

If it can be believed, carbonfootprint.com has a helpful calculator. Here's my calculation.

Canada
Ontario
Jan-Dec 2019
Electricity:
 hydroottawa.com says 6844 kWh in 2019 becomes 0.14 metric tons
Natural Gas
 enbridgegas.com says 1997 m3 in 2019 
 businessenergy.com says 1997 m3 = 22237 kWh becomes 4.09 metric tons
Travel:
 3 ppl YOW-MBJ becomes 2.48 metric tons
 20000 km on 2011 subaru impreza becomes 4.57 metric tons
 10000 km on 2016 mini cooper becomes 1.51 metric tons
 2 x 5km x 12months = 120km uber becomes 0.02 metric tons
Other:
 Food and drink  =  7.97 metric tons  
 Everything else = 24.94 metric tons  
Total:
 45.72 metric tons of CO2e

If that calculator can be believed, then energy and transport account for less then half our GHG impact. The dominant problem is consumption in general.

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