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Carbon Footprint Assignment

By: Murray Dale

Abstract
This is a report on Carbon Footprints which details and summarizes my

contributions to atmospheric CO2. My report will show how and what my carbon

footprint is along with other countries carbon footprints. This report will include an

analysis of the information I have researched and will be written with the use of tables,

graphs, a description of methods used and a results section. The results section of this

assignment demonstrates that two of my main contribution to atmospheric CO2 include

my appetite for foreign foods and foods out of season such as fruits and vegetables and

also my dependence on driving, including having my parents drive me to activities. Ideas

on how to improve your own Carbon Footprint are also included.

Introduction

Many activities in our daily lives contribute to carbon dioxide release into the

atmosphere. Some of these activities we take for granted, not realizing the affect that they

are having on the planet. Knowing ones carbon footprint is important in this day and age.

It helps us understand Global Warming and can even give us information for us to

compare our activities to the rest of the country, showing if we are above or below the
average of the rest of the population. Realizing if you are below or above your country’s

average can encourage you to make the decision to make changes in your own life style

to reduce your carbon footprint. It can also give you tips on how to be more energy

efficient. More and more people are making a conscious decision in their life to decrease

their carbon footprint. Because of this, more companies and even the government are

starting to realize the change in people’s thinking. This can be seen with the

manufacturing of more efficient vehicles coming into production at car manufacturing

companies and the emissions testing that the government introduced a few years ago.

Even looking around Huron County, one can see the changes with the windmills that are

starting to pop up throughout the country side. People are choosing to car pool and

beginning to buy more local foods. This report will show my own direct consumption of

fossil fuels and my own carbon footprint compared to the rest of Canada. It will compare

which area of fossil fuels I consume the most and where I can improve. Carbon emissions

are rising every year and it is vital that we reduce our CO2 emissions to keep a

sustainable planet for years to come.

Methods Section
The point of this report is to find what my carbon footprint is. To get that, I did a

series of steps to do so. First of all, I obtained the required information to complete two

different carbon footprint calculators such as the fuel mileage of all three of our cars, how

many loads of laundry we do in a week, how many times we eat pork a week and so on.
After you obtain the required info you can start doing your carbon quizzes. The two

carbon calculators I chose were www.zerofootprintkids.com and

www.footprintnetwork.org. An assumption I made while filling out the quiz was because

we have more than three vehicles, I assumed they wanted the three cars you travel the

most in because we rarely drive our fourth vehicle. After completing the test, my result

showed that I use 7.5 tons of carbon a year from zero footprint kid’s calculator and 6.9 on

the footprint network calculator so I took the average of the two outcomes. I also think

that the footprint network gave me a lower carbon footprint because it asked me more

detailed questions like “How many times a week do you eat beef?” This could lower my

carbon emissions because the meat and vegetables we consume are from local farms and

that reduces emissions because it’s a closer drive. My results in both calculators were

below the Canadian average. Many Canadians do not recycle paper or compost; I believe

this why my carbon footprint was lower.

Results Section

Contributors My Results The Canadian Average


Transportation 2 3.1
What You Eat 2.5 1.7
Home + School 1.2 1.4
What You Use 1.1 1.1
What You Throw Away 0.4 0.9
Carbon Footprint 7.2 8.2
Discussion
In my calculations I found that the average Canadian family uses 1614.9 cubic

meters of water per day. According to the carbon footprint calculator I use 2024.1 cubic

meters per day, which is a very high consumption for a Canadian. What caused this

would be the fact that I take two showers a day for most days of the week. Everything

else that contributes to my water consumption is near the minimum except for our

washing machine. We have a top loading washing machine; I guess this makes a big

difference in wasting water also. Every suitable day of the year whether it is in the

summer, spring or fall we have clothes on the line. We also believe that it’s quicker to
dry them on the line opposed to the drier. You can put a full load of clothes on the line

but you can only put half that amount in our drier. But back to water consumption, we

might have 3 loads of laundry a week opposed to some people having 5 loads of laundry.

Also, some of the members of our family do not drink that much water, even though

some do; although unhealthy it saves a bit of water. But using this much water doesn’t

appeal to me since we are on a well and we do not need to pay for our water unless we

run out, it might then have cost us up to 15 grand to drill another one. Either way having

a well is still cheaper then buying our water regularly in the long run. In my research I

realized that Canada has the second highest carbon footprint after U.S.A. This didn’t

surprise me because most of the other countries have either gone green or the people are

to poor to afford electricity and cars. My carbon footprint is lower that the average

Canadian footprint by a whole ton. My guess to why mine is lower is that we don’t have

that pricy of electricity bills and use fuel efficient cars made from one of the best

according to the movie Inconvenient Truth, Toyota. Our Camry is the vehicle that we

drive the most and it gets at least 30 miles to the gallon and our small truck can get 40

miles to the gallon so driving around doesn’t contribute much compared to other

Canadians with their big full sized trucks and SUVs. In my opinion, I believe that our

family is cutting back on our carbon footprint for a better future.