Project San Diego supports the entire community of San Diego to work collectively to reduce emissions of the city. However, collective actions in a community must be supported by wise decisions of each resident in that community. That means you!So let's get started creating a new, Low Carbon You. Action to reduce your personal carbon footprint requires understanding where and why your emissions take place. What are you doing that causes these emissions, and how can you reduce these through behavior change, improved energy efficiency of your property, the carbon intensity of the energy you use, and your choice of how and how far you travel? To support you in taking the necessary steps for reduction, we have created a simpler version of the Project San Diego community model to produce the carbon footprint for individuals or their properties. It is also suited to use by owners of businesses. You will simply need your electricity and natural gas bills for the past year, as well as an estimate of how much you drive, or travel more generally, and in what vehicle. You will need to run the model twice: once to establish your baseline (your carbon emissions today), and once with estimates of how you will change your behavior, energy efficiency and/or energy source. The Project San Diego Resident model can be downloaded for free HERE. It uses the example of a resident in San Diego, but the method can be applied to you regardless of where you live. NOT COMFORTABLE WITH EXCEL?If you are not comfortable with the EXCEL version of the model, and are willing to take out a calculator and go it alone, here are the steps to produce your own carbon footprint (or that of your household). Just get out a pencil and paper to record your results. Step 1: Find your electricity use, in kilowatt-hours over the past year, using your energy bill (your utility will provide that number). Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.00022 tons of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from electricity use. Write it down.Step 2: Find your natural gas use, in kilowatt-hours over the past year (your utility will provide that number). Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000206 tons of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from natural gas use. Write it down.Step 3: Determine the number of miles you drove last year in a car. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000291 tons of carbon dioxide per mile (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle). This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from driving the average petrol vehicle. Now do the same for diesel vehicles, motorcycles, vans, buses, and trains, but use the emissions factors of 0.000269 for the diesel car (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.000173 for the motorcycle (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.000427 for the van (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.00130 for the bus (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle) and 0.000125 tons of carbon dioxide per mile for the train (do NOT divide by the number of people on the train, as this is already included), respectively. Then add all of these six emissions together. This is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from commutes (defined broadly as any travel by these means that do not take you out of Southern California). Write it down.Step 4: Determine the number of miles you drove last year in a car when travelling away from Southern California (perhaps on a vacation or business trip). Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000291 tons of carbon dioxide per mile (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle). This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from driving the average petrol vehicle. Now do the same for diesel vehicles, motorcycles, vans, buses, trains, air travel of less than 600 miles and air travel of greater than 600 miles, but use the emissions factors of 0.000269 for the diesel car (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.000173 for the motorcycle (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.000427 for the van (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.00130 for the bus (but divide this by the number of people on average in the vehicle), 0.000125 for the train (do NOT divide by the number of people on the train, as this is already included), 0.000157 for the plane on a short trip (do NOT divide by the number of people on the plane, as this is already included) and 0.000176 tons of carbon dioxide per mile for the plane on a long trip (do NOT divide by the number of people on the plane, as this is already included), respectively. Then add all of these eight emissions together. This is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from travel out of the Southern California region. Write it down.Step 5: Find your amount of streaming of on-line videos, in hours over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.0004 tons of carbon dioxide per hour of streaming (see the comments in the next paragraph). This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from streaming videos. Write it down.These emissions from streaming are not from your home use of electricity (that is already included in Step 1), but rather at the location of the servers of the streaming service. But you are responsible for them! A caveat, though: . We at CCR will update this number as new data become available. As of 2020, this emissions factor is probably closer 0.0001tons of carbon dioxide per hour of streaming.the streaming companies are rapidly expanding their creation of low carbon energy supplies, and improving the efficiency of their servers, to reduce these emissionsStep 6: Guess at the amount of biodegradable waste you send to the landfill, in tons of such waste over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 1.02 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of biodegradable waste. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from biodegradable waste you send to a landfill. Write it down.Step 7: Add together the final numbers from these six steps above to obtain your total carbon footprint. If any of the steps use information for the entire household, be sure to first divide the individual results by the number of people in the household. Write it down.Compare the number from Step 7 to a target of 2 tons per person per year. Is it larger or smaller than 2? If larger, you have some work to do between now and 2050. Ask yourself: Which of these contributions to your footprint is largest? What can you do to reduce those emissions? Carry OnAre you ready to begin building the new, Low Carbon You? Move on to the Reducing Carbon page. |