Wednesday, 4 July 2007

90% Reduction: 2006 Baseline

Well, here it is. When you click on this link you will see our baseline consumption for 2006. I had hoped to be able to publish this directly here, but so far I can't make that work. So the link will have to suffice in the meantime.

I was able to update our garbage numbers today, when Gord went to the landfill to empty our two garbage cans. He has to make a garbage run about every two months, and today he went in to the landfill office to ask about our garbage numbers for 2006. People coming to the landfill have to go over a scale with their vehicle as they enter and exit the landfill, so the landfill people can tell how much garbage each vehicle leaves behind. Each household in our county is allowed to dump, get this, 8000 Kgs (17 600 lbs) of garbage per year! The scary part is that the Landfill Lady said that some people have already exceeded their limit for the year, and it's only July.

When I got home Gord was grinning when he asked me to guess how many kilos of garbage we dumped last year, so I figured it was either really good or really bad. It turned out to be really good! For all of 2006, we added just 75 kilos, or 165 lbs, of garbage into the landfill. This puts us really low on the garbage scale, generating just 5% of the North American average of 4.5 pounds of garbage, per person, per day! I have added 10% to that on the spreadsheet, to allow for the garbage we throw away when we are out or at other people's houses. We intend to reduce this as well, but don't really have any good way of measuring that.

I love lists and graphs and spreadsheets and such, so it is not surprising to me that I really enjoyed working up this spreadsheet. I've got an expanded version on the go to track our 2007 usage, and what we hope will be further reductions. We are doing quite well in the areas of natural gas and garbage reduction, but we have a long way to go when it comes to vehicle fuel consumption. And there are certainly gains to be made in terms of our electricity and water use and our consumer goods purchases. And our eating habits certainly have to change as well.

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