Notes & Numbers
Footprint Renovations - LEDs
- A 10-Watt CFL produces the same amount of light (about 1100 lumens) as a 75-Watt incandescent bulb.
- LEDs last at least 40 times longer than incadescent light bulbs.
- Save you money in the long run because of reduced energy bills.
- Does not contain toxics such as mercury or sodium (RoHS compliant).
- Does not have sensitivity to lower temperatures or humidity like CFLs do.
- On/Off cycling does not affect the lifespan of the bulb.
- Turns on instantly.
- Emits 25 times less waste heat than incadescent bulbs, and 10 times less than a CFL.
- Has no filaments or cathodes, making them very durable and resistant to bumps.
- They are dimmable.
- LED technology is constantly improving, providing consumer with more choices.
- LEDs can cost more than incandescent light bulbs and CFLs, currently about 20 and 10 times more respectively, but expected to change as technology develops.
- White LEDs do not have the best color quality compared to conventional bulbs.
The term "phantom load" refers to the electricity consumed by an appliance or electric device that is "off". The amount of electricity they consume by just being plugged in is not large, but it can add up over time and end up costing an average home about $200 each year.
In oder to avoid phantom loads you can unplug electric devices and appliances when they are not being used, or you can plug them into a power strip that can be switched off.
Here are some simple tricks that can help you reduce the energy used to heat your home:
- Insulate your walls and ceiling to reduce your heating needs.
- Use window covers or switch to double-glazed windows to retain heat better.
- Weatherize your home. Caulking and weatherstripping can help minimize air leaks.
In order to conserve water and energy, consider:
- Using drip irrigation for trees and shrubs to prevent water from evaporating.
- Using low-volume, low-angle sprinklers for lawns.
- Irrigating your landscape at night to prevent evation losses.
- Using moisture sensors so sprinklers do not turn on when they are not needed.
- Covering soil with mulch around plants to prevent evaporation.
- Having a native landscape as opposed to a water intensive lawn. It requires no irrigation or fertilization after it is stablished, needs very little maintenance, supports native fauna, and it is resistant to pests and diseases.
A typical refrigerator has a power consumption of 400 Watts. If a fridge is on everyday, the annual energy consumption will be 3,504 kWh. If we consider the price of electricity to be ¢15, then chilling that lonely six pack for a year would cost $526.
Can you spot the food item that is not produced locally in California?
Yes, the pineapple is a tropical fruit that cannot be grown locally in California. It is usually imported from Hawaii or a Latin American Country such as Costa Rica. For more information, see Food Miles.
MPB stands for "Miles per burrito." We can compare the energy that a gallon of gasoline allows us to drive to the energy a burrito would allow us to either ride any of the vehicles below.
Carbon footprint of a plastic bag: 12.0 grams of CO21
Carbon footprint of a paper bag: 117.8 grams of CO22
Because paper bags are typically heavier, their carbon footprint is almost 10 times greater than that of a plastic bag.
In order to calculate the carbon footprint of goceries contained in one bag, we used the following tools:
- Consumer Expenditure Report (25008-2009)3: This report was used to figure out how much money people are spending on different kinds of foods available.
- Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assesment (EIO-LCA)4: This tool allows us to convert dollars spent on certain kinds of foods into CO2e emissions.
Carbon footprint of a typical grocery bag for one person: 9,948 grams of CO2
This number can vary depending on what you purchase. For more information, click here.
1. Vink, E., Rábago, K., Glassner, D., & Gruber, P. (2003). Applications of Life Cycle Assessment to NatureWorks Polylactide (PLA) Production. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 80 , 403-419.
2. Zabaniotou, A. (2003). Life Cycle Assessment Applied to Egg Packaging Made from Polystyrene and Recycled Paper. Journal of Cleaner Production, 11 , 549-559.
3. Consumer Expenditure Survey . (2009). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cex/
4. EIOLCA. (2002). Retrieved from Carnegie Mellon University website: http://www.eiolca.net/cgi-bin/dft/ use.pl
Why does the Carbon Ninja offers the lady these products instead of the ear of corn she grabed from the produce section? The Carbon Ninja knows that all of these products contain corn (in some form anyway), and he thinks they taste good and are convenient items to have around. Here is what we see in the picture above:
|Product||May contain corn as...|
|Breakfast cereal||Corn flakes, corn syrup.|
|Canned Corn||Whole corn kernels.|
|Carbonated drinks||High fructose corn syrup, dextrose.|
|Snack foods||Corn meal, corn flour, maltodextrins.|
About 25% of the products we find at a typical grocery store use corn at some point during production or processing. For more information on products that may contain corn, click here.
The a significant part of impact the food we choose to eat has on the environment depends on how it gets to the supermarket where we buy it. In ordero to calculate the carbon footprint of transporting our food1, cabonfund.org uses with the term "ton-mile"
- Air cargo - 1.7739 lbs CO 2 per Ton-Mile
- Truck - 0.3725 lbs CO 2 per Ton-Mile
- Train - 0.2306 lbs CO 2 per Ton-Mile
- Sea freight - 0.0887 lbs CO 2 per Ton-Mile
1. How We Calculate . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.carbonfund.org/site/pages/carbon_calculators/ category/Assumptions