Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolution: How Low Can I Go?


I joined Riot 4 Austerity several months ago. For those of you not familiar with Riot, the goal of participants is to reduce their personal carbon emissions by 90% of average American's emissions. Riot targets seven categories for reduction: gasoline, electricity, heating and cooking oil, garbage, water, consumer goods and food. When I joined Riot and its corresponding 90 Percent Reduction group, I didn't bother to figure out where I stood in comparison to the average American. I just figured I needed to change the way I was doing things and followed tips posted by many seasoned Rioters. Yesterday, I visited the Riot site and found this easy peasy calculator for figuring out where I stand.
I haven't kept track of garbage, consumer goods or food for December. Here are my numbers, however, for the remaining four categories.
  1. Gasoline (estimated): 37% of average.
  2. Electricity: 56% of average.
  3. Heating and cooking oil: 5% of average (I told you it was cold!).
  4. Water: 31% of average.
Electricity has gone up with winter - less line drying, more nighttime hours with lights on. I'm guessing our garbage is pretty low though I'm in the middle of Car(bon) Free in California's garbage challenge so I'll post on that soon. For consumer goods and food, I'll need keep closer track. Whatever my numbers, I close out 2007 knowing that they are a heck of a lot better than in 2006.
My final "Green Bean Dreams" resolution for the new year - how low can I go? I hope to reduce by the full 90% in all categories but consumer goods, gas and electricity. For the last two, my ultimate goal is a 90% reduction but I'd be happy cutting those numbers in half for 2008. As far as consumer goods, I'll aim for 90% absent items that will be used to help us use less.
Riot on!

1 comment:

Melinda said...

I haven't added up my numbers for December yet, but yours are looking good! We're doing pretty terribly in the gas category because of a few last minute travels over the past couple of months. Slowly but surely...

I love your new poll. While we are working on the gas consumption, and it's a close 2nd... I've gotta go with "Less Stuff", naturally ; ).

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