Driving and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

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.

3 thoughts on “Driving and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  1. I find your use of real life mathematics that relates to your job to be very intriguing. It is interesting to see how much CO2 we are really emitting when we can actually calculate this amount, which proves that math of sustainabilty is incredibly relevant. Now as a result of your use of math, you can be more conscious of your CO2 emissions. It could be good to challenge peers to calculate their CO2 emissions and make life changes accordingly.

  2. This was a great piece to read because you were able to grasp reality, but also apply mathematical measurements. I also like how you personalized the story, it gave perspective and for me forced me to go and calculate the total amount of gallons of gas that I have used. Now that you have learned this about your CO2 footprint, do you think you will deliver less? In what other areas are you looking to decrease your co2 emissions?

  3. The way you connected the mathematics behind your CO2 emission and your personal life was really interesting. Understanding the personal effects that we are having on the planet is important and your blog really speaks to that detail that we should all have.

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