Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Resolutions (Part 1 of X)

Starting off 06 as I did in 05 I drew up my resolutions for the new year.

One resolution was to reduce our environmental impact. A few different events got me thinking about cleaning up my act. First, I had gotten interested after checking out a link to Terrapass on JohnDemayo's website. Second, I received the Baltimore DPW's 2006 recycling calendar. Last but not least, while sitting in the sauna reading I read an ad for bp's carbon footprint calculator.

Putting my resolution into action, I purchased two terrapasses today, hybrid for my car (6,00o lbs CO2 offset), and utility/performance (20,000 lbs CO2 offset) for my wife. While I walk to work, my wife commutes.

Next step was calculating the carbon footprint of our life. Visiting bp's website and filling out our information I received a forward to a friend email with the following:

I discovered that my household carbon footprint is 26 tonnes CO2, which is enough to fill 5.8 Olympic swimming pools. I calculated my household carbon footprint using the Carbon Calculator at bp.com. The calculator shows how your lifestyle choices, household energy features, energy sources and technologies affect your household carbon emissions. Copy and paste this link in your browser to discover your household Carbon Footprint: http://www.bp.com/carbonreduction

What was interesting about this was that my house is very efficient (well insulated, energy efficient windows, and filled with energy saving bulbs), it was my wife's commuting and my business airtravel that put us over the average US household. This gave me an interesting idea for another product Terrapass could offer, a Flight Terrapass. Every time a person travels they would have the option to buy a pass to offset the CO2. The airlines could offer an affiliate link from every ticket purchase. The affiliate commission might even help the airline's profitability. Looks like Terrapass is looking to release a similar product - read here. Well so much for that idea, although another could be a Utilites Terrapass, which you could buy from your utility company. While having the choice to buy clean energy would be nice, it's not an option for me.

The next step was to start recycling plastic, which I hadn't been doing. Unfortunately Maryland doesn't have bottle deposits so I picked up the bad habit of just throwing them out.

Maybe next year I'll reduce my carbon footprint to zero.

-rob

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