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29 November 2016

WE CALCULATED OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

We all have a carbon footprint to offset – we did it during our Academy event in October. Our member organisation Green Dependent has calculated the overall carbon footprint of the Academy and how many trees we should plant to offset it.

The carbon footprint is a useful tool to calculate the amount of CO2 released in the atmosphere with our daily activities. Whenever we take a plane or a car, whenever we charge our computers or phones, we have an impact on the environment. We need to be conscious of the consequences that our consumerist lifestyle has on the limited resources we have, but also of the opportunity we have to limit and to balance our footprint with small changes in our routine.

Therefore, during our annual Academy, we have showed how simple can be to decrease the level of pollution with small efforts, switching from plastic to reusable tableware, or printing our handouts on recycled or eco-labelled paper. We have offered vegetarian food options because our food habits also affect the environment.  A vegetarian meal requires fewer resources and causes lower emissions than a meat-based meal. The FAO itself affirmed that producing one kilogram of beef meat costs 300 kg of CO2 to the environment.

Yet, as shown in the figure below, what accounts for the most part of emission is the kind of transportation used – planes are among the most polluting means of transport.  That is why we have encouraged the participants to look for other travel options which can provide the same comfort, while being less harmful to our planet.

The total carbon footprint of the CEEweb Academy is 14.15 tons CO 2.
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For instance, the Cologne – Budapest flight results in a carbon footprint of 220 kg CO2/person, while the same journey by train means only 20 kg CO2/person.

We cannot stop producing CO2, but what we can do is to contribute to the offsetting of the carbon footprint by simply planting trees. Through photosynthesis trees can absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood, and at the same time they can preserve biodiversity.

Therefore, after measuring our carbon footprint for Academy conference, we collected money from the participants in order to plant 10 native fruit trees in the spring of 2017.

This is not the first time we calculated our carbon footprint. The workshop organised this summer by SCORAI Europe and Resource Cap Coalition has been analysed in terms of energy consumption, provenience of food and drinks, and resources used.

 

Awareness is the first step – we are inviting you to calculate your carbon footprint on http://www.carbonfootprint.com/  in order to find out how important you are for the environment!