Carbon Literacy — A Quick Guide

This Quick Guide is for the two most common forms of transportation - passenger vehicles and air travel.

🚘 For passenger vehicles we will use the equation 120g CO2/km traveled (Please note this is an average, the car you drive may produce more grams of CO2/km or less depending on the make and engine size of the car you use.)

15km = 1.8kg

30km = 3.6kg

45km = 5.4kg

60km = 7.2kg

100km = 12kg

✈️ Domestic Air Travel (South Africa - using OR Tambo International as originating airport for return economy flight. For context imagine collecting your 20kg bag at baggage collect plus your CO2 emissions in 20kg bags)

ORT > Durban = 137.8kg CO2 (Your 20kg bag + 7 additional 20kg bags)

ORT > Bloemfontein = 177.8kg CO2 (20kg + 9)

ORT > East London = 200.6kg CO2 (20kg + 10)

ORT > Port Elizabeth = 228.1kg CO2 (20kg + 11)

ORT > George = 229.4kg CO2 (20kg + 11)

ORT > Cape Town = 270.7kg CO2 (20kg + 13)

🛬 International Air Travel (Direct economy flights - for these we will use 23kg bags)

ORT > Sydney = 1,757.4kg CO2 (Your 23kg bag + 76 additional 23kg bags)

ORT > Dubai = 848kg CO2 (23kg + 37)

ORT > London = 1025.8kg CO2 (23kg + 45)

ORT > New York = 2,111kg CO2 (23kg + 92)

Note: There is a big PR push from airlines with regard to Carbon Offsets. Scientists who are examining these offset schemes are concerned. Here is some of the research and thinking on the subject.

Corsia: The UN’s plan to ‘offset’ growth in aviation emissions after 2020

An (Even More) Inconvenient Truth Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing

The inconvenient truth if carbon offsets

🌍Become Climate Conscious

👩🏻‍🎓Become Carbon Literate

🗳️Vote for change

🌱Switch to a plant-based diet

🚘Drive less (switch to EV if you can)

☀️Switch to renewable energy

✈️Fly less (the worst transport choice)


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