25

I tend to think renewables (like wood) are a more sustainable heat source than natural gas. There are tradeoffs of course. Most fireplaces are pretty inefficient and can result in a lot of particulates. A wood stove (sometimes mistaken for regular fireplaces) or a pellet stove ensure much more complete burning of the fuel (wood), but require an extra up ...


23

Open fireplaces provide minimal heat to a house, as the warm air heads out the chimney, while cool air is sucked in to the house to replace it. This is a great feature when cooking over wood in the summer, but it's not helpful for staying warm in the winter. You can buy a woodstove insert that will improve the efficiency, keeping more of the heat in your ...


19

Long question, short answer: No. There is nothing like an universal database on carbon footprints or similar. Of course there are a lot of websites which allow you to calculate the impact of - for example - travelling by plane or by car. But the actual calculation of such values is very complex and always comes along with a lot of research. You mentioned ...


16

Perhaps this article is what you are looking for? It's a study by the US Department of Energy on the life-cycle environmental and resource costs in the manufacturing, transport, use, and disposal of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products in relation to comparable traditional lighting technologies. There is a similar study done by manufacturer ...


12

I have heard that disposables use less energy than reusables if you also use hot water and they dryer. But it seems that many experts disagree. Most of the energy that goes into reusable diapers is in heating the water and the dryer. So, the colder the water you're using and less often you dry them the better off you are. Using rain water and/or solar ...


12

This is a really difficult question to answer but I might give this a try. As you already noticed, the WWF formula is quite strange and the results are intransparent. You always have to be careful with calculators like this. Mostly the footprints are too complex to simply calculate them on some website. Anyways, I guess 1.7 planets refers to the ecological ...


12

Let's assume that the use of fuel is the key factor to contribute to global warming and identify four ways that an individual can choose to cross the Atlantic ocean: Large passenger ships, small passenger ships (sailing boats), large cargo vessels and airplane. Fuel use per transport mode Here are the km a given transport mode delivers per one litre of ...


11

If we diverge slightly from the request for CO_2 per passenger km, and look at energy use per passenger km, then David MacKay's book "Without Hot Air" has a rather good chart. Pulling from that the methods by which one might plausibly cross the atlantic (figures are approximate, as I'm reading them off the vertical scale): A Boeing 747: 52 kWh per 100 ...


11

It's hard to assume how much ecological footprint does one extra passenger add to a freighter. I'd guess it's near zero, since it's a cargo ship which needs some basic facilities for the crew anyway, so one person doesn't mean a difference. The twelve passengers limit for cruisers without a doctor means freighter travel isn't likely to be mass used, but for ...


11

While this doesn't fully answer the question in terms of ecological impact, David MacKay provides a good chart of the energy use of various modes of transport, here. I'll extract some figures from it (they're approximate, from me reading off the vertical axis). They refer to typical occupancy unless otherwise stated. Note that, as pointed out by a ...


11

i signed up just so i could make this comment. THelper♦ provided a good link to a DOE report on this topic, which i was researching because my roommate is skeptical about the advantages of efficient bulbs. the report THelper♦ cited has the following bar graph that pretty much answers the question:


10

There is a presentation comparing the environmental impact of different vegetable oils here (direct download link to pdf!). It is shown that olive oil has less impact regarding the output of greenhouse gases and substances that contribute to acidification, eutrophication and the generation of photochemical smog though it requires more space to grow it. The ...


9

A fire in a fireplace is pretty to look at but is probably the most inefficient way to heat a home. Not because wood is a poor fuel, which it really isn't, but rather that it is an incredibly poor design for a heating source. A huge amount of the heat goes straight up the chimney. If you really want to use wood as a fuel source the most efficient way to ...


8

There are too many variables. First: what we mean by sustainability in this case? It could mean "resources will never run out". If no other factors apply and sustainability is the only meaning of life, no children, collective suicide and controlled extinction of human race seems to be the best solution. This is clearly not what we really want (not only ...


8

From the first search I tried the first result says: According to the Second IMO GHG Study 2009, which is the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the level of GHG emitted by ships, international shipping was estimated to have emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7% of the global man-made emissions of CO2 in 2007. Exhaust gases are the ...


7

In a case like yours you're probably better off composting the things you generate that you fed to the hogs and buying the meat from a good responsible local farmer. Even better buy from a CSA. Since you weren't generating enough food for the hogs on site, you may want to consider a smaller animal(s) that eat most of the same waste. A dwarf/pygmy/mini hog ...


7

The ecological footprint method does not directly convert consumed resources into global hectares, at least not via a single conversion factor. Instead first the amount of required land/sea area in physical hectares is calculated by dividing the amount of resources by the yield of the specific land/sea area where those resources were harvested. The physical ...


6

First of all, I think there are two very good reasons why there are many different labels that rate only a specific aspect of a product or look at a limited set of products: It is much easier than taking everything and every product into account. A lot of research is needed to continuously assess products. Products change all the time so your rating should ...


6

It depends on how you define "sustainable" and what your goals are. If your intention is to provide meat for yourself and your family independent of community or industry, in other words "self-sustainability" then raising livestock yourself makes sense but you need to be prepared to provide feed for your animals independently as well as enough room to keep ...


6

Yes, there are such databases. These are Lifecycle Cost Assessment (LCA) databases. They are very difficult and expensive to build, and expensive to maintain. And they exist. You'll need to do a web search for LCA database and your region, but they are out there. The EU has several, for different purposes. Here's the LCA database from the EU Joint Research ...


6

There are several databases like this online. Just google on 'sustainability OR csr database companies' and you’ll find a lot of hits. However, I have found that very few are easy to use. For example, the Sustainability Disclosure Database lists data on thousands of companies on sustainability and environmental and social and governance transparency. I did ...


6

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, the only consumable part of a mechanical pencil is made entirely of graphite which is 100% Carbon and Clay. Go with the pencil! Here is a "How it is made" video ...


6

On the positive side economically you are expanding the market for sustainable products, which will help lower their price and make them more likely to be developed. Another reason to make the effort is that the grandchildren of the people who aren't pursuing sustainability may be, for example, traumatized like the grandchildren of war criminals, and wish ...


5

There's two things to consider when looking at the efficiency of a wood stove: Clean, complete burning - wood stove rely on natural convection to supply air to the fire. This usually means in practice that the stove is most efficient when it's burning "full throttle", meaning most of the wood in the fireplace is actually burning. Form of the heat - in an ...


5

Live close to where you want to go. Most longer distance methods of travel have an enormous environmental impact, or just take too long. Consider where your friends and family live, where you work, and where you shop. Learn about the impact of various types of transport so you can make sensible decisions. Take a big picture look at the energy use and ...


5

I guess making such a label is something that anyone with a phone and a bit of money can do. Recognition from both manufacturers and customers is really "all you need", but anyone involved in marketing knows how difficult that is. The main problem I see with an evaluative label is the following How do you convince the manufacturer to stick your 2/10-star ...


5

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 efficient per passenger than cruise ships, but when comparing them to airplanes, you have to keep in mind what's being brought along to accommodate the passenger, not ...


5

You have to also consider the climate where each type of cooler will be used and how each type of cooler works. Refrigeration coolers transfer heat from inside a building to the outside. However, the hotter the outside temperature the less effectively such coolers work. If the outside/atmospheric temperature is 50 C or higher, such coolers will struggle. ...


5

Yes, to a certain extent. In economics this is called the 'rebound effect'. The rebound effect is that the effectiveness of a new techology or measure is reduced because it is counter-acted by other parts of the system. To give an example: people who insulate their house tend to keep their house at a higher temperature than before the insulation was done. ...


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