Shrinking footprints. Walking lightly on the earth…
Tips to avoid blisters
PET introduces Carbon Bites to keep up the good work of shrinking our carbon impact in the Ecovillage. In the Rainbow Bridge and here there will be information bites: suggestions what to do, examples of what’s been done, reminders of what it takes to change one’s lifestyle. So that climate change doesn’t bite our heels because we walk too slowly. Everybody is welcome to share.
Send your text to [email protected] to be put into the RBB (and here) under Carbon Bites.
Findhorn Ecovillage 2018 Carbon Footprint Report
Goran Wiklund has completed his assessment of our community carbon footprint for 2018. Here are his summary conclusions:
The total greenhouses gas emissions have been calculated to 3,392 tCO2e (tonne CO2 equivalent) a reduction of 25% compared with 2017 when we emitted 5,235 tCO2e. The highest source of emissions is from flying with 2,829 tCO2. Vehicles produce the second largest quantity of emissions, and account for 480 tCO2.
There are many reasons for the reduction on previous years, but a major one is that the number of guests on the Findhorn Foundation (FF) programmes fell by 34%.
The assessment is done according to the international standard Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. The GHG Protocol differentiates between three Scopes:
Scope 1: direct emissions from burning fossil fuel (petrol, gas, wood etc.)
Scope 2: indirect energy (purchased electricity)
Scope 3: other indirect emissions (travel, food, consumption etc.)
Direct and indirect energy emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) account for 466 tCO2e (926 tCO2e). Scope 3 emissions are 3,466 tCO2e (4,308 tCO2e), which include FF programmes and Findhorn Bay Holiday Park (FBHP) guests’ travels.
Total emissions in relation to the number of household members of the ecovillage average 8.3 tCO2e per person, a drop from 13.7 in 2017.
It is difficult to make comparisons between the years because more emission sources have been added and data collection has improved. On the other hand, some data has not been available for 2018. In addition, some of the models for calculating guest travel contain uncertainty, which to some extent is compensated for by the fact that the same models and assumptions were used in 2017 as 2018.
Bottom line: We can be encouraged by the fact that both our total collective carbon emissions and average individual member emissions were reduced from 2017, and worried by what may be implied by fewer guests coming our way.
Our community carbon emissions
It’s time to calculate our carbon emissions for 2018. As a Findhorn Foundation co-worker, a Cluny or Park resident, or if you are running a business with its office/operations at the Park, you should have received an email with a link to a web-based survey.
If not please contact [email protected]
The data for the whole of 2018 that everybody is asked to submit will be processed to report on the carbon emissions for the Ecovillage.
The deadline for the survey is 10th March.
We suggest you don’t wait to answer! The more answers we get, the more accurate the result will be.
PS. This survey is not connected to PET’s carbon offsetting service, with which some of you are familiar. This survey goes out to everyone so that we can assess the total carbon emissions from our Ecovillage community, consistent with previous studies from 2015 and 2017.
Check out Carbon Bites for reports on Community Environmental activities!
Great turnout for the Sunday Slot. Great presentations too.
At 300 bookings and a wait list of another 30, the April conference is looking full of promise.
It may well have ’competition’ at its opening, though, from the Extinction Rebellion crowd, two of whom in our midst explained why they feel MOVED to ’act up’ to catalyse resistance to climate change.
Eveline told us why she’s taking action to turn food waste into compost and thence back to food, and invited folks to contribute either their own food waste or to the attendant costs of getting her project established.
After a poignant 3 minute video by 15 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg chastising ’world leaders’ for their inaction on climate change, Marilyn Hamilton did a ’half term’ report on her ’cChallenge’ initiative wherein 30+ local participants committed to making a climate related change for a month. It’s going well, it seems.
Maria Cooper reports that the current YIPP-ies are busy completing their Zero Waste initiative and associated programme. Maria also has a full house of participants for her second series of ’Carbon Conversations’, and has a waiting list for another. She also says there’s space for a local teenager in the young folks’ version of CCC19. If you know someone with sufficient interest and engagement, contact Maria.
Speaking personally, it’s great to witness these varying efforts to reduce our carbon footprints and change our lifestyles in anticipation of, and preparation for, the climate change that’s clearly already afoot. When you’ve done that, AND still want to offset the emissions you can’t reduce (for heating &/or travel), I am happy to make myself available for those wishing help to navigate PET’s carbon calculator (https://parkecovillagetrust.co.uk/about/carbon-offset/). Feel free to email or phone me.
Finally, it’s encouraging to see increasing mainstream coverage of climate change. Here’s a sobering ’carbon bite’ from the New York Times:
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are higher than they have been in 800,000 years, and average global temperatures have risen. The last four years have been the hottest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization, and the 20 warmest years on record have all come in the past 22 years. Ocean temperatures have broken records several straight years.
The Washington Post also did a strong piece this week that brought climate change home to Americans, covering recent floods, fires, and fishing effects that enable them to see it. So, despite our ‘Denier In Chief’, it seems that 66% of Americans now ‘believe’ in man-made climate change and support government action to respond accordingly.
Attend Findhorn “Sunday Slots” which feature a raft of carbon related initiatives
The Sunday Slot this week will feature a raft of carbon related initiatives that have been evoked, at least in part, by the Climate Conference in April. It will include a report of how the conference itself is unfolding.
Park Lecture Room, 12:30-2pm, Sunday 27th January.
Just a reminder that if you have not yet calculated your footprint for 2018 and offset it, you are warmly encouraged to do so right here: https://parkecovillagetrust.co.uk/about/carbon-offset/
Establishing new travel a-l/t-titude
It is the time to look back at 2018, to reflect on your travel patterns and offset carbon emissions – especially from flights.
The KG emission estimates shown are for direct flights. For multi-leg itineraries, they certainly underestimate the real emissions. The numbers presented on the map are based on research by Larsson & Kamb. They find a global average CO2 emission of 90 g per person km, caused by burning fossil fuel. In addition, greenhouse effects are caused by so-called non-CO2 emissions, including contrails (water vapour) and emissions of aerosols (small particles). These effects are short-term but potent. The scientific certainty for how to treat the non-CO2 emissions is very low, but we use the best current estimates, which suggest that one should add a further 90% to the CO2 emissions to account for these effects. This gives a total emission of 170 g per person km in CO2 equivalents. Please note the emission numbers here are not as precise as they may seem. However, they give a relatively good estimate of the magnitude of the emissions from air travel.
As we have pointed out: the cost of flying is the price of the ticket plus the price of offsetting the carbon. How about making that your 2019 travel mantra?
Composting draws down carbon
Have you seen the new bins opposite Cornelia’s? Eveline’s composting initiative Growing on Food Waste is an excellent example of how carbon can be sequestered and turned into soil. If you don’t do it already get a bin and start composting in your garden. Or go together and share a bin. Composting means closing the loop and turning food left-overs and garden waste into fertile soil. In the resulting mixture the ingredients have cooked down and captured the inherent carbon, which then can be added to the topsoil.