The River Reporter
Climate Challenge Worksheet
Households

Click here for notes on how this worksheet was constructed

For the month of:___________________,

A. FUEL AND ENERGY PURCHASES
1. GASOLINE1
Car 1 gallons 19.564
Car 2 gallons 19.564
Car 3 gallons 19.564
Diesel vehicle gallons 19.564
Lawn mower gallons 19.564
Snow blower gallons 19.564
ATV gallons 19.564
Snowmobile gallons 19.564
Boat gallons 19.564
Other gallons 19.564
Total lbs. CO2 from gasoline
2. FUEL OIL1 gallons 22.384
3. PROPANE1 gallons 12.669
4. NATURAL GAS1 hundred cubic feet 14.47
5a. ELECTRICITY - NY2 KWH .796
5b. ELECTRICITY - PA2 KWH1.222
If some percentage of your electricity comes from solar, wind or other renewable sources, enter that percentage here:

B. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
1a. AIR TRAVEL - short flights3 Miles .64
1b. AIR TRAVEL - medium flights3 Miles .45
1ca. AIR TRAVEL - long flights3 Miles .39
2. BUS 4 Miles .12
3a. TRAIN - intercity 4 Miles .42
3b. TRAIN - commuter 4 Miles .35

C. WASTE DISPOSAL5
Unrecycled garbage. (Calculate average weight of one of your typical bags of unrecycled garbage. Fill in number of bags and number of pounds) Lbs/bag Number of bags x 1 =

D. DIET6
Below are monthly averages of the greenhouse gas CO2 emissions associated with three types of diet. Enter the appropriate number in the input box at the right.
Standard American diet (30 percent meat, dairy and poultry): 310
Standard American diet, without red meat: 231
Vegetarian: 155

GRAND TOTAL:

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Footnotes

*1. Gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, propane and natural gas conversion factors http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/archive/gg96rpt/btabs.html The factors yield millions of metric tons of carbon per quadrillion Btus. Resulting amounts have been converted to pounds.
2. Electricity emission factors differ by state and utility. These state averages are provided by DOE at http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/FTPROOT/environment/e-supdoc.pdf
3. Air and train travel factors found at http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/howitwascalculated.html
4. Bus factors were derived from ttp://www.aef.org.uk/. (Aviation Environment Federation, UK)
5. Waste. http://www.newsociety.com/Publishers%20CO2%20Template%20USA.pdf. Landfill garbage produces methane as well as CO2. A CO2 equivalent provided by the EPA is used here. Sullivan County is having an electricity plant built using landfill methane; once that is done this factor should be reduced for Sullivan County residents. http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/WARM?openform
6. Diet. Estimates from The Green Guide website, http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/119/calculator. Unfortunately, they do not specify how strictly they are defining vegetarian, i.e. as vegan, vegan plus dairy, or vegan plus dairy and fish.


Notes on constructing the worksheet

In constructing the carbon emissions worksheets for individuals and households, we wanted to be as complete as possible while keeping the sheets practical to use, and the calculations on which they are based reasonably accurate.

A complete accounting of the carbon emission for which a household is responsible would include practically every dollar spent, as not only fuel but furniture, clothes, electronics and almost every good purchased and service produced result in emissions of greenhouse gases of one sort or another. However, it is not currently feasible to try to account for all the emissions connected to, say, a dress or pair of shoes that one buys in the store.* In addition, there is an issue of double-counting: if the consumer is to be 田harged for the gashouse gases associated for everything he or she buys, then no carbon emissions would be charged to businesses. Theoretically this makes sense; but for the purpose of individual entities in the society measuring their impact and taking action, this approach is not of much use.

As a result, we have limited the categories on the household worksheet to direct purchases of energy and fuel; public transportation, which consumes large amounts of fuel; waste disposal; and diet. Please note that, since we have included gasoline spent on commuting on our business worksheets, those gallons should be subtracted from the household worksheet. The easiest way to do this is probably simply to calculate your mileage to work, multiply that by commuting days during a given month and divide by your car痴 mileage.

In the last two categories, we found it necessary to consider methane, another major greenhouse gas, as well as CO2. While atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen by about 31 percent since pre-industrial times, methane concentrations have more than doubled. Although methane emissions account for only about 9 percent of greenhouse gasses as compared to 82 percent for CO2, methane is about 20 times more effective at trapping heat. Clearly it is just as important to reckon with.

For garbage-related methane emissions we were able to find a Department of Energy source that used a 田arbon equivalent measure for methane, and we feel this should be fairly reliable.

The generation of methane by solid waste, however, accounts for only about 13 percent of total human-related (anthropogenic) emissions. By far the biggest category of anthropogenic methane emissions is livestock, which account for about 32 percent of these emissions, produced by a combination of enteric fermentation-gas produced in ruminants' digestive tracts-and manure. The mining, processing and distribution of natural gas (which is about 95% methane) is the third major methane category. We hope to get a measurement of this to add to our calculation for natural gas in section A.

For diet, we could not find a source that explained their calculation to our satisfaction. Not only is it not clear whether the source we used is referring to CO2 only or CO2 combined with a carbon-equivalent measure of methane, but we don稚 know how it is defining 砺egetarian. Does that include eggs and dairy? Fish? We would like to find a clearer souce; if you know of one, please contact us at climatechallenge@riverreporter.com.