Part-time, I work for Vintage Pizza in Latham, NY. My aunt and uncle own and operate the business, and when I can I help out and work. Occasionally, I’ll take deliveries to customers if need be. I like to deliver, because I like to drive my car and it gets me out of the kitchen where I normally work. But I’ve noticed, more so recently as I’ve begun to pay more attention to my carbon footprint, just how much I drive and emit when I deliver.
When I got my car, it had 25,000 miles on it. Today, it has about 80,000 miles. I average about 30 miles per gallon, and my car’s tank can hold 12 gallons. If I’ve driven 55,000 miles in my car, at 30 miles per gallon, I’ve used about 1,834 gallons of gas over that time.
When I plugged this number into the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, needless to say I was pretty surprised. My emissions equaled that of the average yearly energy consumption of 1.8 homes. It was the equivalent of using 37.7 barrels of oil.
Now, not every mile I drove my car was a result of delivering pizzas for my family’s business. I drove countless miles around town and to and from various places. But using the calculator really put things in perspective. For as much as I like to drive, I need to be more conscious about just how much I emit when I do.