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Old 6th December 2019, 17:20   #1
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Default Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

Although media reports suggest that some of the biggest companies and industries in the world are responsible for most of the greenhouse gases emitted, little do we understand that each and every one of us play a small but significant role in one of modern day's biggest problems - climate change.

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We are so engrossed in our day to day lives that we fail to realise the impact we have on the planet as individuals when we travel in big SUVs to work daily, go on road trips or take a flight to that dream destination, or even carry out simple things like switching on the air conditioning. It also depends on what we eat, how much food, water or electricity we use or waste. Every single activity affects our carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human activity.

Now, in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, some of us have started taking measures that would slowly help our planet. These may include using public transport, car pooling, switching to electric vehicles for the daily commute or even cycling to work.

What steps have you consciously taken to reduce your carbon footprint?

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Old 6th December 2019, 18:15   #2
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

I barely remember the last time I drove to work. My daily work commute (sadly) is more than an hour away, and I use one of the corporate shared mobility app based solution (Office Ride) everyday and believe me, I’m super-productive on the move. The bright side is not only carbon footprint, but little do I worry about the traffic woes nor who’s going to scratch or rear-end on that narrow dingy road. The weather friendly cabs are super affordable (rates vary 2-3 / km) and wifi on the go does help me start my day early and catch up with those meetings.

Some BHPians may not like the sound of this, but let me confess that unless there’s that pressing need to drive to a travel destination located say 4-8 hrs away, I do use public transportation systems (plan well in advance and use trains / intercity buses). Trust me with careful and advanced planning you can book your hotels / places through ride sharing / local commute and hey, least of it, you managed to prolong the life of your vehicle by a margin (PS - this is strictly to places supported by a public commute infrastructure).

Well, to each his own and I’m not sure if everybody can fathom that moment when you look back and made that day a bit greener that you gave your children a bit of cleaner air to breathe tomorrow.

Cheers,
Vijay
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Old 7th December 2019, 04:12   #3
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

I have diminished my carbon footprint by accident. My office in Bombay is a 10 minute walk from home and when I do work in Bangalore, it is from home. I like it because of the cost saving due to the fact that I am not keen on office transport and would have to drive otherwise. The other part about reducing my carbon footprint comes from the coffee estate we own in Coorg. I make it a point to ensure trees are planted there
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Old 8th December 2019, 08:33   #4
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

I have to sheepishly admit that I'm not as concerned about my carbon footprint as I should be. That said, I don't drive to work everyday (office @ home), hence my carbon footprint might be smaller than that of a lot of you .

1 international holiday a year, and a handful of domestic flights (I prefer road-trips over air travel), so I'm okay there too. And for errands that are <1 km in the area, I prefer to walk (for fitness).

On the flip side, neither of my cars is exactly green (not the 6-cylinder remapped diesel, nor the 22-year old Jeep with a BS3 motor) and I do drive the test-drive review cars a lot (including high-revving on highways every weekend). Plus, it's a big house & the electricity consumption is high, with the air-cons always running. So that's not cool. Am a bit materialistic too and shop a lot.

This thread does give something to ponder upon.

Last edited by GTO : 9th December 2019 at 09:44. Reason: Additional info
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Old 8th December 2019, 08:59   #5
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

Couple of things to keep things green.
  • I take the bicycle to buy groceries or for any other chore from the market.
  • I walk to work ( it helps that my workplace is just a short walk away)
  • In the past two years I've initiated tree plantation drives in which we've planted about 500 Saplings of which more than half have survived.
  • We've started a small nursery in which we've transplanted about 400 saplings of Sal & Camphor. Some other species including bamboo, Rudraksh & Seeta Ashok are also being tried to be nurtured. A small number has died but rest are surviving - we hope to plant them all in the 2020 monsoons, in which we're hoping that we will be able to plant at least 1000 saplings.
  • Places where I have to take a motorized vehicle, I prefer the bike / scooter, especially if I'm the only chap.
  • We keep saplings in poly packs (from the nursery) & gift them to guests who come visiting.
  • We've provided about 3000 + seeds from the different trees in our campus to a local govt nursery free of charge. They'll plant them & turn them into saplings & some of these we'll plant on our campus.
  • I switch off lights / appliances wherever they're not required.

Cheers !
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Old 8th December 2019, 11:07   #6
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

  • I now walk to work
  • I use my Polo for short runs and the Jetta for longer runs when it can warm up and be efficient
  • Use my cars till they are no longer economical. Will plan to buy used where possible
  • Avoid bottled water
  • Avoid plastic packaged items ( I love those ID Filter Coffee pouches but never use them duets the plastic)
  • Buy when I need - recent tough times has taught me self-control
  • Wonder whether to keep Jetta for long drives and buy a Kona for remaining time
  • Choose to use cabs and walk to non congested points to hail them and also to end the journey
  • Recycle what I can
  • I fly though but there is no alternative
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Old 8th December 2019, 14:04   #7
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

This is a topic, I am very serious about. I do my best to leave my surroundings cleaner and greener. Some of my efforts:

1) Over the past 3-4 years, I have invested about 4 lacs on roof top solar energy. Total installed capacity is 3KW (Am close to exhausting the available open space)

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2) IoT - have put in these 15A and 10A switches at strategic places to control abuse of electricity and water use by maid servants. E.g. the water pump switch has lead to a material difference in our household water and electricity consumption.
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3) There is a total ban on use of plastic mineral water bottle use during outstation trips.

4) I work from home and since I live in a non-metro, all daily needs, children school, daily need shops are all nearby, resultantly I rarely drive/ride, any more than 10-12 kms a week. (discounting outstation trips)

5) Recently invested in a slightly less than an acre of land about 15 kms from where I live and I am targeting produce from zero budget natural farming soon. Incidentally this piece of land is connected by a rail line.

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6) But on the flip side I drive 2 diesel cars, one of which is a naturally aspirated 3L diesel of 2004 vintage. In addition none of my other two petrol vehicles are known to be fuel efficient - Etios 1.5 & RE Interceptor.

Last edited by rrsteer : 8th December 2019 at 14:10.
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Old 8th December 2019, 15:22   #8
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

For BHPians, going easy on the accelerator pedal is the most practical option. As an added bonus, you don't leave behind "carbon black" (tyre marks) footprint on the road either

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Old 8th December 2019, 16:35   #9
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

Does this count?

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Old 8th December 2019, 17:00   #10
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

Do I care about my carbon footprint? Despite my belief that global warming is nowhere near the Top 10 priorities for government spending in India, I believe that each of us should do what we can to conserve resources (and save money) and hence I do care about my carbon footprint.

So this triggered the need to firstly estimate my carbon footprint. I visited conservation.org and used the Carbon Footprint calculator on their site. My results (benchmarked to a US average) are shown below:

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This is probably not very accurate for someone who lives in India. I suspect my household carbon footprint would be even lower than their estimate - we don’t use air conditioning barring about 75 days in a year, and even then only while sleeping - often in just 1 or 2 room. And we of course don’t need heating.

However, the site did not have the ability to get granular data on travel - it asked for the number of 2500 mile + round trips - while I do about 8-10 5000 mile + round trips every year, with several in business class (which it did not ask about). So my travel footprint is probably underestimated. Is there anything I can do to reduce that? Tough to say - to the extent possible, I use Telepresence or Conference Calls - and travel for work only where unavoidable (more because I want to save time). Yes, I take 1-2 holidays abroad every year. But that is tough to avoid.

What do I do consciously - carry a water bottle which I refill rather than use plastic bottles, walk short distances near my home or office, minimise air conditioning use at home, drive in Ecopro mode in winters, retain clothes / cars / appliances for a long time. All stuff that saves me money while doing good.
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Old 8th December 2019, 18:45   #11
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

We live in the Netherlands these days. The Netherlands is relatively slow (compared to many other European countries) in environmental awareness and real action. That has changed considerable in the last 12 months though.

Many infrastructure projects had to be shut down due to not meeting environmental requirements. A wide range of actions are taken, one of the biggest is that all Dutch houses will be disconnect from gas. To put that in perspective, every single Dutch house has a gas connection, to cook with, the heat with and for warm water.

On my won carbon footprint: We have installed solar panels. That has made a huge impact on our electricity bill. With ten panels I produce per year more than we consume! We have put double glazing in several of our windows that did not have double glazing before. We have done some further insulation on our home.

We need to get ready for when we get disconnected from the gas mains in the years to come. So we are closely following when that will happen and what alternatives will be available. Average Dutch home owner are expected to cough up on average Euro 25-35.000 to get their homes ready for the no-gas transition. To put that in perspective, that is the price of nice kitted out Ford Focus! There are likely to be some subsidies, but still.

We do not have AC in our home, neither are we likely to install it. Many Dutch home these days do.

We use our bicycles for any trips up to 10-12 km from home. We use our wood burner sparsely. I have done away with our petrol powered gardening tools and switched to electric. (Which if you are used to petrol powered tools, is a big change and not a very good one, Although admittedly more quiet.)

Our council is very big on recycling. Which means we have 6 different garbage containers so everything gets sorted out as much as possible. So nothing gets just thrown away. Whatever we are about to throw away needs to be picked apart and sorted for the correct bin. Recycling on the whole reduces carbon footprint considerably.

We do not burn any garden rubbish. We either compost or take it to the municipal tip. We do not do fireworks any more on new years eve. (We will happily watch others though)

Unfortunately, my job entails a lot of international flying. I can not change that . And of course, my classic cars are not exactly green either.

Jeroen
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Old 8th December 2019, 20:27   #12
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

A few things we to reduce/recycle waste:
  1. Carry cloth bags for groceries/shopping.
  2. Avoid plastic or paper carry bags. Any paper bags/wrappers we do get are re-used as dustbin liners.
  3. Carry own water bottle, avoid single-use plastic ones.
  4. Avoid disposable plates/cutlery.
  5. Walk wherever possible.
  6. Use Metro for most city rides, nearest stop to destination.
  7. One-for-one shopper. Every new item replaces an existing item, no hoarding. Attachment to stuff can be a good incentive to avoid unnecessary shopping.
  8. Work from home when possible.
  9. Fly shortest available routes when traveling internationally.
  10. Dispose hazardous waste responsibly.
  11. Near-zero paper policy. No printing anything where an e-copy is available/sufficient.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 8th December 2019 at 20:30.
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Old 9th December 2019, 10:09   #13
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

A few things that I do are:
1. Walk when possible
2. Totally avoid buying new plastic bags, so I carry a cloth bags always with me
3. To get parcel from hotel etc, getting back to old ways - I take a container and go. I discourage use of disposable cups at hotel etc - I use my own cup or take glass cups
4. No buying new plastic bottles, using more of metal bottles
5. Using metal containers for groceries etc & buying metal containers / glass containers
6. I do not print anything unless absolutely necessary
7. No AC installed at home or workplace

I have to admit that on the the downside, I use my car on a everyday basis for commuting to work. If i use public transport I need to change 3 to 4 buses and with metro nowhere near me, I continue to use my car.
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Old 9th December 2019, 11:00   #14
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

I am not concerned about it, as despite popular belief that we are heading towards doom, I believe it is more of a hype than it is real. Every few decades these people throw new numbers at us saying that the world is going to end in x number of years, and they don't forget to reset the doom dates as they go on.

Worst case, we would have to adapt to the new environment, which we could easily do, with the pace at which we are developing technology. We have to understand that we are always headed in one direction, and we cannot go back. At best with these popular anti-warming initiatives we may be able to slow it down by 5-10%, which fails to pass the cost vs benefit test.
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Old 9th December 2019, 11:23   #15
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Default Re: Are you concerned about your carbon footprint? What are you doing about it?

Though I am in agreement with the Climate change doomsday prediction models, I have a firm belief that it doesn't affect me - since I have access to resources and technology to keep me intact in my lifetime (while the world around me definitely may become exceedingly more inhospitable)

... and since when have we human thought about any other living creature on this earth except ourselves and our personal/social desires?

Therefore proud to state that I don't pay attention to any such footprints.

Last edited by alpha1 : 9th December 2019 at 11:24.
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