IT ATE ARNOLD » It Ate Arnold

WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS: ACTION: (Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons)

Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17

Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19

Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36

Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21

Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147

Increase car’s fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148


Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh. Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 (female expectancy U.S.) Source: Paul Murtaugh.

Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime. That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person.
A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S.
The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient.
The same conclusions roughly apply to fresh water consumption.
Many children are born to people who are not ready or willing to raise them.
Many parents are less ecologically responsible out of convenience, e.g. using disposable instead of cloth diapers; buying an SUV instead of a compact (“The family is so much safer.” Not in the long run, Mom, bad choice).
Abstracted: “Not So Carbon Friendly” Jennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune. Sound Off – Comment:

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