I've come to realize that the first step is understanding the impact of my choices.
This is tough for me because I've always prided myself on being a car guy. I love huge horsepower but also realize that something I am so passionate about impacts our planet on such a large scale. Its hard to accept that something I love has such a considerable impact on the planet.
I decided to research the impact my own vehicle has on our planet.
My research led me to a couple fantastic websites that help me understand my impact.
Car carbon footprint calculator - This is the first calculator that helps you understand your entire carbon foot print. If you click on the car tab shown below and fill in the pertinent information, you can find your carbon footprint for your vehicle.
By driving 20,000km a year in my 2002 Volkswagen Passat with a 1.8litre Turbocharged 4 cylinder with a 5 speed manual transmission I produce 5.10 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Greenhouse gas Equivalencies Calculator - The second calculator converts the 5.10 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year into real life usage. Input your vehicles carbon dioxide emissions into the first empty box on the "if you have your emissions data" tab.
What you will see is the actual impact driving your vehicle for an entire year has on the planet. What you do with this knowledge is your choice, but understanding the impact of your choices is the first step to better choices.
Bonus assignment :) - Multiply the results above by 250,000 vehicles. This is a small percentage of how many cars are on the road. One car on its own doesn't make a big difference, but hundreds of thousands makes a massive difference.
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