30 votes
Accepted

Why does cheese have such a high carbon footprint?

TL;DR The chart is misleading since it compares carbon imprint by mass instead of a measure of how much a human needs to survive. Argument The chart you link contains false comparisons. They are ...
  • 1,067
16 votes

Why does cheese have such a high carbon footprint?

1kg of cheese takes around 10kg of milk to produce (more for some cheeses - e.g. parmesan is around 1:16; less for softer cheeses). So the carbon footprint of cheese is going to be at least that ...
  • 1,032
11 votes

Do Christmas trees have a positive or a negative impact on carbon emissions?

To qualify my answer I have ended up here following research into the new agreement made today in Paris regarding climate change (COP21). There appears to be a consensus that one of the most important ...
  • 496
10 votes
Accepted

What life-style decision can I make to reduce my carbon footprint most efficiently?

The simplest rule to follow is this: Buy Less Stuff Some people replace large articles of furniture (couch, fridge, bed) every 3-5 years, often for reasons of style or fashion. That stuff has to ...
  • 1,877
10 votes

Should we leave all fossil fuels in the ground and not use them?

Yes, we should leave the larger part of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Scientists have calculated that if we want to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees C (which was agreed ...
  • 14.3k
9 votes

What life-style decision can I make to reduce my carbon footprint most efficiently?

I already provided an answer to this question here, which was written based on personal experience and knowledge, but in this second answer I wanted to address some interesting details and specific ...
  • 14.3k
9 votes
Accepted

How much could the US reduce its electricity demand if people moved from Texas back to Ohio?

Original answer (which had a long explanation): I proposed using degree days information to determine a baseload value for consumption of electricity and natural gas by region, and assume anything ...
  • 11.5k
9 votes

Is heating with candles economically and/or ecologically worthwhile?

A related question was asked on SE Skeptics - Is this tealight-flowerpot heater more efficient than just tealights? In the third answer, it is claimed the heat produced by one tea light candle is 0....
  • 3,362
7 votes

What's the carbon footprint of stackoverflow?

Not a full answer to your question, I do not know the footprint of the servers running the StackExchange sites, but it could be estimated from the information here. Good performance automatically ...
7 votes

What’s the carbon footprint of an email?

Here is an answer based on this 2010 Guardian article I found. Not sure how accurate it (still?) is. 4g CO2 for a 'normal' email. 50g CO2 for an email with a long attachment 0.3g CO2 for a spam email ...
  • 14.3k
7 votes
Accepted

What is more sustainable, using a mechanical pencil or a pen?

It is hard to say because there is such a wide variation in ink formulations. Also, no company is going to tell you what is in their ink, as they will consider that a trade secret. That being said, ...
7 votes

What should I do with coal that I have been given?

Well, if you are really into it and quite handy, you could turn it into activated charcoal, and then add it to your soil! Grind it into small bits, heat it anaerobically, then introduce high-pressure ...
7 votes
Accepted

Approximate CO2 emissions for shipping a parcel from one location to another

Carbon intensity by shipping method The World Shipping Council provides this chart showing approximate carbon emissions by shipping method: Shipping emissions calculators If that's too ...
  • 11.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Does 1 container ship really pollute as much as 50,000,000 cars?

It depends on how you define "pollution". Cargo ships use some of the dirtiest fuels available: bunker fuel is basically what's left over after you refine all the good stuff out of crude oil....
  • 579
6 votes

What’s the carbon footprint of an email?

The guardian article mentioned by THelper to me is suspect. It cites McCaffey that claims that 62 trillion spam messages take 33 billion kWh of power. That's 2000 messages per kWh. Hmm. Let's ...
6 votes

Lowest impact transatlantic crossing

Unfortunately--and I realize this is not very helpful--the best choice in terms of carbon footprint is almost certainly not to go. It's a good point that freighters are likely to be much more ...
6 votes
Accepted

What is the environmental cost of encrypting your communications?

In fact there is an actual increase in energy consumption, though not much. What is done at the end devices is one thing (the encoding-decoding part). This answer from stackoverflow provides a good ...
  • 442
6 votes

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

Carbon offsets aren't a perfect solution by any means, but provided the activity being funded by the offset is genuine and sensible for the long term, carbon offsets could certainly be considered to ...
6 votes
Accepted

How much, if any, does resolution effect the net power consumption of watching online video?

The Natural Resources Defense Council commissioned a study in late 2015 to understand the energy consumption from 4K TVs, titled The Big Picture: Ultra High-Definition Televisions Could Add $1 Billion ...
  • 11.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Is a solar cell phone charger a sustainable choice?

The best article I could find which addresses this question is "Life‐Cycle Assessment of Solar Charger with Integrated Organic Photovoltaics". Their conclusion: Because of the complicated ...
  • 11.5k
6 votes

To what extent do CO2 emissions from motor vehicles vary?

CO2 is produced by burning the carbon in the fuel, so if your driving style causes you to use twice as much fuel, you will produce twice as much CO2. Driving aggressively can have a big impact on ...
  • 294
6 votes

Emissions offsets versus avoidance: can they be compared?

There is a saying in the sustainability world; "Reduce what you can, offset what you can't". If you burn fossil fuels, you are adding CO2 to the atmosphere. While it is possible to reduce ...
  • 14.3k
5 votes
Accepted

How much energy costs do portable solar panels save in a house?

I'm afraid these little mini solar kits are much smaller in scale than rooftop panels. They can be great for charging gadgets when away from mains electricity, but they're not an economic substitute. ...
  • 3,659
5 votes

Why is the private car still more popular over other forms of transport in the USA?

It is well within any government's power to tax the private automobile into the ground by raising taxes exponentially on the private use of fuel. (...) Not a single major politician, not a single ...
  • 2,406
5 votes
Accepted

Hotel communal living

Since you don't indicate in which country you're thinking of implementing this plan, I'm going to write from my perspective in the US, considering chain hotels (Marriot, Holiday Inn, Hilton,, etc) ...
  • 11.5k
5 votes
Accepted

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

KubaFYI, in light of the update you made to your question, I am submitting a second answer for your consideration. The title of the question is "How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-...
  • 2,774
5 votes

Carbon footprint of soy milk versus cow's milk

Tesco (a large UK supermarket chain) have carbon footprinted a large number of their products - https://www.tescoplc.com/assets/files/cms/Tesco_Product_Carbon_Footprints_Summary(1).pdf. For fresh ...
  • 1,032
5 votes

What is the carbon footprint of pet food?

Since posting this I’ve discovered some relevant sources, so I’ll offer my own answer. Allocation The concept of “allocation” is important in deciding how the footprint of a process, such as food ...
  • 1,001
4 votes

How much energy costs do portable solar panels save in a house?

The Goal Zero PV panel is rated at 20 Watts. Specifications here Here is the average insolation figures for Houston The line in the 4th chart titled "Insolation, kWh/m²/day" gives the kWh per square ...
4 votes
Accepted

Green social media to connect with nearby people to help reduce carbon footprint

As far as I know there isn't a "really famous green social media network / plug-in" where lots of green-minded people hang out and where you can just select the ones that live close to you. It's ...
  • 14.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible