Offloading my carbon footprint

footprint babyIn 2005, when I first took the ecological footprint quiz, I saw that I was one of the worst culprits of using more than my share. The quiz showed me that it would take over 8 earths to support humanity if everybody lived the same lifestyle as me.  Who knew that driving 30,000 miles per year and eating meat at every meal wasn’t good for anyone involved? By 2009, I had reduced my footprint so that we would need “only” 4 earths if everyone lived like me. In 2011, I switched to this more detailed carbon footprint quiz (try it!) so I could get credit for some of the more specific changes I was making.

Anyway, as of October 2014, my household footprint is 34 tons of CO2 per year. My footprint is well below the U.S. average but more than the global average and way more than my share. More bad news is that, for the first time since I started measuring, our household footprint has increased, from 31 tons of CO2 last year.

But, thanks to our new baby, I’m personally doing better. 34 tons divided by 3 people is less than 31 tons divided by 2 people.  I have offloaded a big chunk of my carbon footprint!

I realize that babies don’t drive or fly much. They also don’t buy unnecessary stuff. They eat very locally sourced foods and can’t even digest meat. So, babies could argue that it’s not fair to assign them an equal proportion of the household footprint. But babies can’t talk or type either, so for now, it’s 34 divided by 3 and we’re all in this together.