Deb’s 2011 End-Of-The-Year Carbon Report
Then I get to sit down with a hot cup of tea tally up my carbon emissions for the year: gasoline, jet fuel (air travel) and natural gas usage (home heating and cooking).
I do not tally up my electricity usage for my results (though I do out of curiosity later) because here in Seattle, WA, our electricity is 94.7 % clean emissions generated- we are on 94.7% hydro-power and wind.
So, the numbers are in for 2011…and the results are ”two steps forward, one step back”: although my natural gas and car gasoline usage have continued to drop my carbon emissions in 2011 increased due to more air travel:-(
What’s a girl who’s doing long-distance care of an elderly mother to do?
I can’t not go help my mommy…and moving her to Seattle is not an option as she is quite frail, but even more importantly, she lives in a senior community with many friends who keep her happy. And ditto for me… Seattle has become my home and where I thrive…so, no go.
Back to air travel, in this year’s case, I wound up having to do six trips to the Bay Area due to various medical crises concerning my 79- year old mother, as opposed to last years four plane trips.
The seventh plane trip was also elder-related: I chose to fly to Los Angeles and visit as many octogenarian Aunts and Uncles I could because one day, I won’t get to see them anymore.
It is amazing how just three more plane trips as compared to last year’s four, how those three added trips really add to my carbon output. But I am glad I am able to chart this and make informed decisions.
But lest I get you and myself too depressed, it’s a brag on myself that I continue ot cut back on gasoline driving, natural gas output and also the other consumptive/polluting things I do… for example:
I used less water this year, I slashed by trash output by 66% and ditto my recyling output (50%).
And, although I can’t do my electric usage tally until next month when the December/January bill arrives, I think I have used less. We will see!
I purchased two of the solar panels that will be part of the Beacon Hill Community Solar Project, and should see a little monetary kick-back here and there on my electric bill for as long as I am in my current house. (See a well- written article by Jonathan Hiskes of Sustainable Industries about the project)
That exception was a dinner jacket I bought in British Columbia, made in British Columbia with fabric that made in Ontario.
The store where I made this purchase focuses on local, Canadian made apparel, so I figured that was OK! (You can see the jacket in my music video about my electric car “Little ZENN Car” (it’s the second costume change during the band/studio shots)
Oh, and might I add that I think that making a music video about electric cars , a music video that is circling the globe right now via the Internet to mostly positive response a huge brag an eco-success? (It falls under the “eco-education”) category!)
So two steps forward, one step back.
Except that in looking at my carbon output since 2007 (Scroll back up to top of page!) I’d say many, many steps forward towards zero-waste, zero emissions and I look forward to seeing what I can pare down in 2012!