My Commute Carbon Footprint

(A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation)

I’d like to know how much CO2 I’m putting into the atmosphere from my commute.

I recall that I fill up about twice a month, and the petrol tank usually takes about 40 litres each time. I could work out the MPG, but this is a quick estimate. It’ll do for now.

Burning Petrol releases about 2.31 kg per litre (according to

Therefore, in a month, 2 tank-fulls, or 80 litres burns into…

80 × 2.31 = 184.8 kg of CO2

Taking holidays into account, let’s assume I do that commute for 11 months of the year, which means my commute looks like

184.8 × 11 = 2032.8 kg, or just over 2 tonnes of CO2

There we go. 2 tonnes. The next challenge is to try to reduce it.

According to this article at The Guardian, manufacturing a small to medium sized car might produce 6-17 tonnes of CO2, which I need to factor in when deciding whether to replace the car

Note: My internet-based research said a car probably emits 4.6 tonnes, according to My car does less than the average mileage, and I get better fuel economy than the 22mpg stated in the article, so I’m comfortable with the figures I’ve calculated.

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