Reducing our carbon footprint

I have evaluated our household carbon footprint annually over the last few years. We have been making steady progress reducing our CO2 emissions. At the end of 2021 we emitted about 15 tons CO2/year, 56% better than average. Before making some deliberate changes a few years ago, we emitted 36 tons CO2/year.

I encourage everyone to do your bit to reduce household carbon emissions, year by year, decision by decision. Please read below to see how we have come this far.

Our household CO2 emissions for 2021 – using The Nature Conservancy’s online tool

Reducing our carbon emissions – step by step

  • Travel
    • Traded our gasoline car for an electric vehicle in 2014.
    • Charge our electric vehicle using mainly hydro generated electricity.
    • Eliminated international travel due to pandemic restrictions.
    • Live in a city, where travel distances are short for local errands.
  • Home
    • Oil furnace replaced with heat pumps.
    • Live in a modest-sized house.
    • Powered garden tools are all electric.
    • Much-reduced waste going to the landfill due to ramping up curbside recycling and diverting compostables
  • Food
    • Increased plant-based meals.
    • Significantly reduced eating any meat from large, domestic animals. We only eat modest amounts of poultry and fish.
    • Buy locally produced food whenever possible.
  • Goods
    • Reduced clothing needs and other discretionary items.
    • Recycle as much packaging and hard goods as the regional system will accept.
    • Use our own, reusable shopping bags for grocery shopping.
  • Services
    • Retired, so no employment or business related expenses.
    • Only essential, safety-related vehicle repairs and maintenance is done.
    • Health and medical expenses are modest, due to our national health care system.

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