Monday, September 22, 2008

Power-Aid

I decided this weekend to become serious about reducing my carbon footprint in an effort to leave the world a slightly better place than when I entered it.

Of course, I could accomplish the same goal by being nice to people and donating my spare time to volunteer work and things of that nature but frankly, that seems like those things would require a lot of effort.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but no such handy analogy exists for calculaing the size of one's carbon footprint. Fortunately, I stumbled across a site called, obviously enough, Carbonfootprint.com, where after answering a set of simple questions, I received my answer.



Uh, oh. Well, you know what they say about guys with big carbon footprints, right?

Right?

What do you mean they pollute a lot? I thought it meant something totally different.

Anyway, according to the site, I can buy credits for things like the Clean Energy Fund for just £150.37 ($277 US), Reforestation in Kenya from £178.50 ($329 US), or UK Tree Planting from £257.25 ($474 US). .

But I'm not made of pounds and, well, actually I suppose that I am - and far too many of them these days...but the bigger issue is that I'd then have to offset the paper used to write the check and make the pen or, if I did it electronically, the energy used to power the computers used to process the transaction. Then I'd have to go back to the calculator to figure all of that out thus using more energy and, well, you can see where all of this is going.

Clearly I needed a better solution - which I found by using the EPA's Power Profiler which
revealed to me that the average air emissions rates in my home region of the power grid to the are at or above the national average while those of my office region are below the national averages. Which got me to thinking. I already get free breakfast and lunch at work, so why shouldn't I get my electricity there, too?

When I leave work this evening, I'm going to plug a few extension cords into various empty outlets in my office building and then I'll run those cords to my house and use them for all of my electrical needs, thus capturing the benefits of cleaner power while eliminating my electric bill, and reducing the size of my carbon footprint. Everyone wins (except my employer).

Frankly, I don't know what Al Gore has everyone complaining about. This carbon neutral thing is actually pretty easy.