Carbon Emissions, In Perspective

by NeilT, 2008-09-04

We hear a lot these days about carbon (CO2) emissions. Almost everything we do results in CO2 emissions, so it is difficult to know where to start cutting back. Below is a chart of the CO2 emissions of various activities and items to help put them in perspective.

Similar actions/items are grouped by alternating colors.

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Details on the emissions values

  • Hummer and Prius totals are after driven a typical year: 12,000 miles or 20,000 km.
  • CF bulb is 13W, Incandescent is 60W. Total emissions are if left on for a full year.
  • Household energy use is based on 12,000 kWh, an estimated average for North America.
  • Old-model fridge is pre-1976 averaging 1,800 kWh/year. New-model fridge averages 500 kWh/year.
  • Traveling estimates use average-load industry figures, not full capacity.
  • A/C and fan estimates are based off average usage figures of 8 hours/day during a cooling season of 125 days.