Saturday, November 30, 2013

Carbon Cost of our Trip - Part 2

We're about to start on the 2nd part of our trip, so we wanted to come back to the carbon cost calculations.  Here is our post from a few months ago where we calculated the cost from our first 3 months. We don't have all of our flights set for the rest of the trip, so there will be a "Part 3" post in a month or two.

As before, I'm using the carbon footprint calculator at terrapass to calculate the carbon footprint for our trip (

For this "Part 2" calculation, I plugged in our flights from Minneapolis to Seattle (family Thanksgiving) to Perth, Australia. Then within Australia we'll fly from Perth to Sydney and Sydney to Melbourne. Then in January, we'll go from Melbourne to Hanoi, with a one night stop in Kuala Lumpur (needed to make our flights work).

For the four of us, the flights are estimated at 109,373 miles generating 46,799 lbs of CO2.
We are renting a car along the west coast of Australia, and will likely drive about 1000 miles. The car will be a Toyota Highlander or equivalent, according to the photo from the rental car company. Plugging this model into the calculator at 2000 miles driven, yields another 2044 lbs of CO2. I overestimated the number of miles driven to add some extra for other shared forms of transportation we will take while in Australia.

The total cost for the above is $291.55.

However, I realized that I forgot one flight, from Perth to Exmouth in Australia. That flight, for the four of us, adds 2,718 miles or 1,233 lbs of CO2. The cost to offset it is $11.90.

Note that we didn’t calculate home energy for the places we'll stay as that seems nearly impossible to do. However, we already offset our home on an annual basis, which we'll continue to do even though we won't be using it ourselves. It seems reasonable that the amount for our home will "cover" us during our trip.

Net cost to offset part 2 of our trip is $303.45, as you can see below.

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