The process was relatively simple and inexpensive. As I mentioned in the last post, switching over to wind power for our electricity costs us an additional $10 a month, and it required a phone call to our electricity provider. To figure out our complete carbon footprint we needed to look at other activities and services that generate carbon dioxide. Here’s what we found and how we calculated our carbon dioxide emissions.
- Electricity (the remaining 10% from fossil fuels): 1,452 lbs of carbon. (Calculated from the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program)
- Travel to work: 12,900 lbs of carbon. 5 employees 70 miles total each day, 240 working days, 16,590 miles (Calculated from An Inconvenient Truth > Carbon Calculator)
- Air Flights: 14,500 lbs of carbon. 16 medium, 5 long, and 2 extended flights (Calculated from An Inconvenient Truth > Carbon Calculator)
- Natural Gas: 3,200 lbs of carbon (Calculated from the Carbon Footprint, had to convert English pounds to US dollars)
The total amount of carbon that we needed to off-set was 32,052 pounds. We planted 4 trees around the studio which reduced the number by 52 (13lbs each, calculated from figures found on the Colorado Trees website) leaving us with 32,000 lbs of carbon.
Today we purchased, 16 one-Ton “EarthCooler” Blocks from NativeEnergy, a Native American majority-owned company which helps build “Native American, farmer-owned, and charitable purpose renewable energy projects that create social, economic, and environmental benefits.” NativeEnergy helped make Syriana the first major motion picture to be “climate neutral.”
The cost to off-set the carbon we produce was $12 per ton for a total of $192.00 for our 16 tons of carbon dioxide. Our total cost per-year to be carbon-neutral is about $320 a year, less than $1 day to do our part to reduce global warming.
Update: Check out of new page on becoming climate neutral.