My carbon footprint


After reading a newspaper article where the writer measured her carbon footprint online last week, I decided to try calculating mine today.

For some reason, I decided to visit Loren Legarda’s website first before googling “carbon footprint calculator”, and lo and behold, Legarda actually has one such calculator embedded on her site!

Not that I am undoubtedly voting for Legarda at next year’s national elections. There’s also Mar Roxas who I’m thinking about. But I must admit that I am seriously contemplating Legarda. I’ve always remembered her as an environmental advocate since she started out her political career when I was in grade school, and she has steadily advocated for climate change up to the present time.  Aside from that, she is also pro-women and pro-education, which makes my heart melt.

AND (and!) she was the only guest politician who came on time to speak to public relations practitioners about our role in making change during last September’s public relations congress, an annual event organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.

In fairness, Chiz Escudero apologized for being late, citing the unexpectedly heavy rain as culprit. Then there was Dick Gordon, who was just…plain late.

But back to my carbon footprint, which I pegged from October 1, 2009 to November 1, 2009. After inputting the numbers for my flights (I took the plane route Manila-Laoag-Manila during my Fort Ilocandia vacation) and my secondary footprint, I found out that my total carbon footprint is 0.40 tonnes of CO2, which equates to 4.46 tonnes per year.

But of course, I know that that’s not entirely the true picture. I didn’t fill in the numbers for house, car, bus and rail simply because I am not sure of how I fare in these factors. I’m not sure how much electricity I personally consume at home. And while I don’t own a car, I take the jeepney, but there’s no jeepney option at the carbon footprint calculator I used.

So if I include these yet-to-be-measured factors, my carbon footprint will surely increase. I might even exceed the Filipino average of 0.97 tonnes, given my penchant for malling and eating out.

Some other data from the website:

  • The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tonnes
  • The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes
  • The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tonnes

I must help get the worldwide target of 2 tonnes. For one, I never ever want a repeat of Typhoon Ondoy again. EVER. Funny, but while home-hunting these days, real estate brokers have started to put “Ondoy-proof” and “40 meters above sea level” and other such comforting things to their marketing materials.

Another reason is that (cheesy, hehe) I would want to take my beautiful future children to the Philippines’ (and the world’s) beautiful islands when the time comes.

And last but not least, taking care of the environment is (seryoso ito ha) a great way of honoring God. So ayun.

So I clicked on the link outlining suggestions on how to reduce our carbon footprint and I must say some things really hit some guilt in me:

* Buying bottled water instead of bringing my own portable water container (I actually have two containers, which were freebies–one from a PR partner and another from a cooperative I am part of)

* Not growing my own vegetables (I actually tried to plant basil for my pesto before, but got discouraged when the maya birds feasted on them before I did)

* Eating too much meat (chicken and fish, mostly)

* Not minding too much if a certain product seems to be overpackaged, thinking that it’s part of what I paid for, anyway (Note to self: Start bringing a reusable canvass bag to the supermarket and the mall)

Okay then. I guess the changes start now. Must. Reduce. Carbon. Footprint.

Join me. =)


2 comments on “My carbon footprint

  1. I already went to her website through yours. I was excited to find out about my CO2 footprint too through the calculator–but it opened in French! Arghh! I’m taking at as a sign to do this after my exam. I really will!

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