In my first blog entry I discussed about how I feel about sustainability in general and how I see my own ability to be sustainable. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the issue – I think I should be doing more than what I am doing at the moment in order to live sustainably, yet I feel that whatever I do it still won’t be enough as I am only one out of the 7 billion. Another problem I faced was the fact that I was unsure how “bad” my current life style is and what aspects does this “bad”-part consist of. Without knowing the current situation how could I know how big of a change would be required for my life to become sustainable enough? After all, if you don’t have the facts to begin with it’s quite difficult to measure the change at all.
I am familiar with the idea of carbon footprint and was aware of that there exist ways to calculate it but I had never thought to try it out until yesterday when the topic was brought up on the lecture. It made me think that I should give it a go and see how bad my current living habits truly are. I also wanted to see what options do I have to change for better – and especially to know whether it would be possible for me to travel (even just a little!) and yet stay within the allowed CO2 limits.
I used the calculator offered by hs.fi and here are the results I got (unfortunately this test is in Finnish):
As expected, it does not look too good. Apparently I generate CO2 emissions more than twice the amount that I should (by year 2050) and also more than Finnish people do on average. Not surprisingly, the traffic has the biggest effect on my carbon footprint. The share of flying from traffic is 2984kg out of 3499 kg. To be able to squeeze in one two-way flight within Europe to the little over five ton limit, I’d need to become a vegetarian, live in a smaller house with more people, buy green electricity, buy almost all products and clothes second-hand, and give up on using cars. By doing all this I could decrease my CO2 emissions to 5387 kg.
I think this calculator gave me some guidance of what I could do to improve the sustainability of my life, yet some of the parts such as the consumption was quite vague – one could only choose from three different possibilities, of which I felt none was completely true for me.
Here’s the link to the carbon footprint calculator I used in case someone wants to try it out too: http://184.108.40.206/hs/hiilijalanjalki/