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How Many Cars, Trees, Acres of Forest…

26 March 2008

I think it’s important to translate carbon dioxide savings into real numbers. For example, through the Minnesota Energy Challenge, people are currently pledging to reduce their energy use by over 93 million pounds of CO2 annually. But do any of us have a clear picture in our mind of what 93 million pounds of CO2 actually means? It’s hard to imagine – like how much water could fit into the Grand Canyon.

So when I talk about carbon dioxide savings, I try to put it into numbers that people can imagine. For example, people are pledging to save the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from over 98,000 barrels of oil consumed. That’s pretty impressive! If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to come up with equivalent numbers, like numbers of tree seedlings grown for 10 years (number of trees) or annual emissions from passenger vehicles (cars off the road), check out the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. It doesn’t get much easier that this.

It’s important to note, however, that all their numbers are based on national statistics – not Minnesotan stats. For example, Minnesota households use less electricity a year than the national average.

Check out the impact the Minnesota Energy Challenge is having now….


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