Posts Tagged ‘carbon footprint’

Monday Moaning

All over the planet there are people who care about our little dirt ball.

Individuals, whole families and some responsible business are involved in reducing pollution and lessening their carbon footprint; doing every little thing to try and make a difference.

Even some governments are involved making laws for this and that to help.


But there is something very, very wrong!

There is an element that is not even trying:

It makes the efforts of the little people akin to pushing crap uphill with a fork.

biggest polluter on earth libertarian meme

Yup, the military machine. Not just the USA I would wager, but every military service in the world.

I don’t have an answer.

Just thought I would bring this to your attention.

Next time you’re at the ballot box, think about the military objectives of your governments, and do something about them.

Vote them out!

Your vote is the greatest green maker there is!


Satireday on Eco-Crap


Make you Fink on Friday

RUNNERSThey say exercise is good for you, but is it good for the planet?

Think for a moment, just about the feet; your running shoes, have you ever wondered how green they are?

Apparently, not very.


Running shoes leave large carbon footprint, study shows

A typical pair of synthetic trainers generates 30lbs of emissions, equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week

Researchers found that Asics gel Kayanos generated 30lbs of carbon emisisons. were Photograph: Asics

Runners tread more heavily on the earth than they may have ever imagined, especially it seems if they are wearing a pair of Chinese-made men’s size nine Asics gel Kayanos, according to a team of MIT scientists.

A new pair of synthetic running shoes typically generates 30lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, the researchers found.

That’s an unusually high carbon footprint for a product that does not use electricity, or require sophisticated components. The researchers said it was equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for an entire week.

Sports apparel companies have been leaders in trying to reduce their environmental impact. But as the findings suggest, it’s an especially complicated problem.

Shoes account for a big share of the emissions produced in clothing manufacture. More than 25bn pairs of shoes are manufactured every year, most of them in developing countries.

More than two-thirds (68%) of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the shoes tested by the MIT researchers came during the manufacturing process – not in sourcing the materials or in their actual use.

That was an unusual breakdown, said Randolph Kirchain, one of the co-authors. “Folks tend to find that manufacturing is relevant to the carbon footprint in hi-tech or specialised products, such as integrated circuits or that kind of thing,” he said.

The researchers tracked the emissions associated with the manufacture of the shoe from extracting the raw materials, manufacturing and assembling the product, and use of detergent to clean it by its eventual owner.

The particular shoe studied by the MIT team was made from 26 different materials, and required 360 different steps to manufacture and assemble. Many of those units, where the shoes were produced on small machines, were powered by coal.

“It’s the many small parts – the making it, the manufacturing – cutting out the pieces, injection-molding the rubber, sewing it together. Everything happens in Asia, and that means the shoe has a relatively high burden compared to the extraction of raw materials,” said Elsa Olivetti, another co-author.

But the researchers credited apparel makers such as Asics, with trying to account for the emissions generated in the lifecycle of their products.

The study said footwear manufacturers now faced the challenge of trying to streamline processes – and reduce the number of steps in manufacture – without compromising design.



Think about that when you are out buying your next set of runners. You may be keeping fit, but at what long-term cost to the environment?


Monday Moaning


Polar ice melt is not only endangering polar bears

Polar ice melt is not only endangering polar bears

That’s my bitch today.

Generally the world, more particularly the politicians and the scientists with vested interests have succumbed to complacency and denial.

Take global warming for example, there are those who say it exists, there are those who say it is a fantasy. The two camps are spending so much time arguing between each other when they should be acting. The longer it takes to act, the worse the crisis becomes.

Global warming, carbon footprint, melting glaciers and polar ice and ocean acidity are all involved in this.

Here’s a shocking revelation.

Rising Acidity in World’s Ocean Waters 100 Years Earlier than Predicted

Climate models predicted it wouldn’t happen until the end of the century. So Seattle researchers were stunned to discover that vast swaths of acidified sea water are already showing up along the Pacific Coast as carbon dioxide from power plants, cars and factories mixes into the ocean. In some places, including Northern California, the acidified water was as little as four miles from shore.

Habits are already dying

Habits are already dying

“What we found … was truly astonishing,” said oceanographer Richard Feely, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. “This means ocean acidification may be seriously impacting marine life on the continental shelf right now.” The phenomenon is an aspect of global warming scientists are just beginning to understand.

Acidified ocean water can be fatal to some fish eggs and larvae. It also interferes with the formation of shells and skeletons, harming corals, clams, oysters, mussels and the tiny plankton that are the basis of the marine food web. “Their shells dissolve faster than they are able to rebuild them,” said Debby Ianson, an oceanographer at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and a co-author of the study published today in the online journal Science Express.

Since the Industrial Revolution, when humans began pumping massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans have absorbed 525 billion tons of the greenhouse gas, Feely estimates. That’s about a third of the man-made emissions during that time. By reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the oceans have blunted the temperature rise due to global warming. But they’ve suffered for that service, with a more than 30 percent increase in acidity.

“This is another example where what’s happening in the natural world seems to be happening much faster than what our climate models predict,” said Carnegie Institution climate scientist Ken Caldeira, whose work suggested it would be nearly 100 years before acidified water was common along the West Coast. And there’s worse to come, the scientists warn. The acidified water upwelling along the coast today was last exposed to the atmosphere about 50 years ago, when carbon-dioxide levels were much lower than they are now. That means the water that will rise from the depths over the coming decades will have absorbed more carbon dioxide, and will be even more acidic. “We’ve got 50 years’ worth of water that’s already left the station and is on our way to us,” study co-author Hales said. “Each one of those years is going to be a little bit more corrosive.”

Source: Window to the World


Now that this revelation has been made, what are the world’s governments doing?

Sitting on their sanctimonious arses, talking.

Are they acting, like shit they are. To act means that all the previous predictions may also be wrong. No government likes to be wrong, they may not get voted in next election, so any public admissions won’t happen.

We are dying to see the future

What’s more important is, if the predictions were wrong about ocean acidity, are the predictions about global warming, the need to control carbon, polar ice caps melting also wrong?

Where does that leave us?

Closer to extinction than previously thought.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint

There are many products available to help the consumer reduce their carbon footprint.

Try using this to sweeten your morning coffee…

Carbon Free Sugar

If my high school chemistry serves me right…

C6H12O6 is the chemical formula for sugar; you take away the carbon, and all you’ve got is a bag of water…

Change the World Wednesday – 14th Mar

This challenge cannot wait for my round up next Wednesday. But, having said that, I am not sure that I can do justice to what I have to say.

War has been with us since the dawn of mankind

War – is surely the greatest blight on humanity that exists, there is none greater.

War is, without doubt, the most resource hungry, wasteful and polluting activity that mankind indulges in.

I’m going to ignore the political machinations of war, the reasons behind wars, the people who declare war and the minions that are sent to fight them because much has already been written by better people than I. I feel I could hardly add anything new, relevant or further; so I won’t even try.

But in all our talk of the environment, ecology and the ‘greening’ of the world, we continue to ignore war.

We are like the ostrich, we bury our heads in the sand and say “What?” as though we have absolutely no idea what the question was.

Reduce Footprints’ Lenten CTWW series has done a great service simply by adding this challenge.

War is harmful, costly and opposed to life in so many ways that its obviousness as a threat to a sustainable Eco-system makes it at once redundant to state and easy to overlook. Advocate for peace today by any life-affirming means which feels right to you. To learn more about the specific harm to the Eco-system caused by war, please see and

Most people are insulated from the war/s. They are something that happens over…. there. They are not a part of our repertoire, unless we have family who are militarily involved. The government deals with wars, we the people do not. We do not see the waste, the spending, the pollution and the death involved in wars. We do not see the raw materials that we waste simply so we can blow the other man further towards hell than he can blow us.

Most of us have seen films, Good Morning Vietnam (yes, war does have humour) and Full Metal Jacket (yes, war has pathos). We see these spectacles and laugh or cry along with the clowns and the heroes, but we do not see the cost of war.

The cost of war, historically, has always been measured in human lives. But while death is a terrible aspect of war, we do not see the real physical costs. The current round of conflicts in the Middle East are the first that we have really seen war monetarised in billions and trillions of dollars. But this is still not the real cost of war. The real costs are the resources that we are stealing from the planet, the pollution that we create and the carbon footprint of war.

How does that measure against a cow fart?

Greenhouse gases; we complain about the fact that cows burp and fart when we raise them for meat; that our cars emits carbon monoxide as we drive to work and the supermarket; we complain about coal-fired power stations and industry belching these gases into the atmosphere. But has anyone bothered to complain about the gases produced every time an infantryman fires his rifle, every time a hand-grenade explodes or a tank fires its murderous cannon? Do we complain about the jet exhaust of the fighters overhead, or the exhaust of the supply tucks that rumble along the war zone highways to take more gas producing weaponry to the front line? Do we complain about the need for air conditioning/furnaces on bases to keep the troops cool or hot? Has any one ever suggested to the military turn down your air conditioning/furnaces a notch to save power?

These are the costs of war. They don’t only affect the military, they affect every living being on the planet; whether they are at war or not.

Most discerning people declare themselves to be green, to some or other degree. We see some excellent examples of people really trying, you only have to browse amongst those that visit Reduce Footprints leaving their Meet & Greet Monday and blogs of a similar ilk; they are there, you can see them.

But we all sit back in our recliners, with our air conditioning/furnaces turned down a notch and the clean air filters, we look at the world through our double glazed windows, admire our ‘green car’ on the drive way, that we drive to the farmers’s markets for organic produce, knowing that we don’t have wasteful and poisonous products in our cleaning armoury and our rubbish is all nicely separated for kerbside recycling, we gloat over our beautiful gardens made all the more beautiful because we compost and produce our household veges. The world is wonderful, we are ‘green.’

But how green really?

Answer this question:

What have you done to prevent/avoid/diminish/eliminate war?

If you answer a meek “nothing!” Then you’re not as green as you thought you were. Your silence, your apathy makes you implicit in allowing war to continue;makes you implicit in adding to the greatest destroying, polluting, wasting activity of mankind.

Does that hurt?

I hope it does. Have you ever heard the saying “The truth hurts”? Well, it does.

How can you help? Write to your congressman, blog, make people aware of the true cost of war. A simple act can relieve your conscience and help make the world a better place. I post, or repost information on the world’s military infractions almost daily, not here, but I do it to make people aware of the insidious side of our world, it’s what I can do, so I do it; and you can too.

If you haven’t read the links in the original challenge, go and read them now, they will open your eyes.

Change the World Wednesday – 29th Feb

The old boot has absolutely nothing to do with the story, but it's still a good idea for a planter

I’m going to leap right into the fray. (It’s a pun, get it, get it?….. oh, never mind)

I only get to do that joke once every four years and you lot (both of you) didn’t even raise an eyebrow.

This is a real Change the World Wednesday, Reduced Footprints fooled me. I didn’t realise that the real McCoy would be integrated with the Dailies.

As a result of my charm and wit, you’ll get two posts today, which I hope you’ll appreciate.

Now, where was I before I started waffling?


Oh, yes, Change the World Wednesday….

Lastweek’s challenge to calculate your carbon footprint was an interesting exercise. I wasn’t enthused about my result, because I am more conscious of almost everything in this are than are 95% of Brazilians, and yet the result showed that I was waaaaay above the country average and the world target. Quite frankly, I don’t believe it. For example, there are many homes in Brazil that do not use electricity because they don’t have it, but was their candle burning, wood burning cooking and fossil fuel lighting taken into account in the initial calculations?

The challenge this week:

Reduce the number of plastic bags you use by getting a fabric or reusable bag for shopping. Although plastic bags use 70% less plastic than they did 20 years ago, most are still made from polyethylene, a non-degradable plastic. If you live near a brewery, you can obtain 15-20 gallon durable, synthetic grain bags which breweries usually throw away. These can either be used as garbage bags or rinsed out and re-used to take trash to the dump.

I usually do, but sometimes an impromptu therapy session supermarket visit can catch me without my bags, so I have to accept their plastic ones.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that São Paulo state has just banned plastic bags in all retail outlets. Will this come to Rio de Janeiro? I hope so.

Big durable bags

The second part of the challenge, If you live near a brewery… . Oh one can dream. I live a whole 11 metres (about 12 yards) from my botequim (a local neighbourhood  bar), but they don’t have big durable bags; unless you count some of the customers, then we have two. But they don’t drink martinis, mainly because if you asked Raimundo for a martini, he’d just blink at you because he has no idea how to make them.

The chances of getting the bags as suggested in the challenge is remote, because here they are already spoken for by somebody who makes them into carry bags for the street markets and sells them.

They used to cost 50 centavos, but I have seen the price rise to R$1 and now they are R$2. That’s inflation for you.

90% of the people use the supermarket bags for rubbish day. Even the kitchen and bathroom rubbish bins are made to fit the plastic bags.

That is something I must explain. Here in Brazil we do not put used toilet paper in the toilet to flush. There is a rubbish bin next to the toilet for that. You see most of the sewerage systems can’t take the paper. Many of the systems here don’t have sewerage treatment and the effluent often finishes up in rivers; paper would just be an added problem. So the toilet paper goes in the bin and out with the rubbish to the street rubbish collection three times a week.

So, in answer to the challenge, yes, I do, in as much as possible try to reduce the amount of plastic bagging that passes through my house.


Change the World Wednesday – 22nd Feb

The world has returned to normal, it continues to rotate slowly about its axis and in turn around the sun.

The coffee helped, coffee always helps in a time of crisis.

We return you to our normal CTWW programme.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday:

Calculate your carbon footprint today at, or and find out what you can do to minimize it, including purchasing carbon offsets.

“An alternative definition of the carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide attributable to the actions of an individual (mainly through their energy use) over a period of one year. The term owes its origins to the idea that a footprint is what has been left behind as a result of the individual’s activities.” – Surrey Health

Well, I went to one of the sites above and calculated. I use about 1,800kw/h of electricity and 56 kgs of bottled gas. Based on that my carbon emmisions = 1.2 tons of CO2 requiring me buy £9 of off-sets.

Now I have two issues. One is that they make provision for a car, but there is no provision for a public transport use estimate; as I use public transport  daily, this figure is wrong.

Secondly, I grow a lot of plants, vege and fruit plants mainly, and there is now way of calculating the CO2 that I reabsorb. So a further anomaly arises.

I consider that what I use and what I return are pretty much a balance, because my plants work 24/7, my other uses that produce a negative impact do not.

I just found a plant calculator on the second of SF’s links, I estimate that I am responsible for about 5 trees equivalent per year, which gives me a credit for $5.00. I found a public transport one, but the calculator appears and then disappears, so I haven’t yet been able to use it.

The plot thickens.

I have found a calculator that gives me Brazilian figures… after all, I am in Brazil. My carbon footprint has reduced to .26 tons of CO2  and a further .16 tons on public transport. My secondary footprint (buying and lifestyle preferences etc) add 2.6 tons. I get a total result of: Total = 2.87 metric tons of CO2 and this comparison:

Your footprint is 2.87 metric tons per year The average footprint for people in Brazil is 1.80 metric tons The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 metric tons

Looks like I have some work to do.

If you are interested in this country specific calculator, try Carbon Footprint Calculator.

Saturday Satire

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