Thursday, January 18, 2007

Carbon

So my New Year's resolution this year is to reduce my carbon load. Amazing, isn't it? I mean, I remember hearing that term at OMSI eight (ten?) years ago and thinking "Carbon load? Who comes up with these names?," but now everybody uses that term, and everybody's got it on their mind. [Okay, maybe I should clarify: everybody worth knowing, that is.]

Anyway, it's amazing how many different things you can think of that jack up your C.L. This morning, I was thinking about our pancake syrup, which is organic goodness brewed up from maple and corn syrups. Tasty. But it takes a lot of energy to turn tree sap into syrup. They cook down something like 16 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon syrup. And I shudder to think how much energy it takes to make sugar cane juice into sugar crystals for my coffee.

Speaking of coffee, how much fuel was wasted shipping that stuff here from South America? And then on roasting and grinding and brewing? Yikes, I've got to stop drinking the stuff!

Showers. Travelling. Watching TV. Farting. Breathing! It all adds up. And every single choice you make, every single day--it adds up. What am I going to do about it? And what are you?

2 comments:

Erin said...

A coffee-less Wendy???? No no no, it's a sign of the apocalypse! :) Heart you! :)

Kt said...

Agreed. Coffee is a small problem that will help you tackle the bigger ones, says I. (Who is growing more addicted to it.)

It's actually 40 gallons of sap to 1 gallon of syrup. The evaporators are either propane or wood fired.

But these things, coffee and syrup and the like, are not where the world's heaviest load is coming from. They've been around for centuries, but the carbon level didn't spike until this past one. Internal combustion, baby. Internal combustion.