Copyright © University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.
Being green is a good thing, but how are we to know what the greenest choices to make are? Why not make up your own mind by analysing some of the following statements yourself?
At the foot of the question we provide you with lots of data taken from the internet. This isn't necessarily all of the data needed to complete the investigation, but a set of data which appears to be relevant to the problem. Some of the sources are given at the foot of the problem. You may, in your work, find that you need more data or question what the data, as presented, might really mean. Use your common sense to try to decide what the most important factors are.
Questions to consider
|1 gallon of petrol produces $8.87$kg of CO2|
|A round trip, economy class, from London to New York produces $760.22$kg of CO2 per person|
|Efficiency of a car ranges from about $25$ miles per gallon to $50$ miles per gallon|
|An efficient small car produces about 120g per km of CO2|
|An efficient large car produces about 140g per km of CO2|
|An efficient empty delivery truck produces about 220 g per km of CO2|
|Locally produced food travels an average of about 200 miles from farm to shop|
|Environmental CO2 output from shipping is twice as much as airlines|
|The distance from London to New York is about 2000 miles.|
|An empty bus emits seven times more CO2 per km than an empty car|
|Short haul air freight emissions are 1580 g CO2 per tonne kilometre|
|Long haul air freight emissions are 570 g CO2 per tonne kilometre|
|Freight in a medium truck produces 85 g CO2 per tonne kilometre|
|Freight in a large transport ship produces 10 g CO2 per tonne kilometre.|
|An average man weighs about 80 or 90 kg|
|Bus journeys can take longer than car journeys|
|On average, rail journeys produce 0.0602 kg of CO2 per passenger km|
|On average, bus journeys produce 0.0891 kg of CO2 per passenger km|
|Journeys in slow moving traffic can dramatically reduce fuel efficiency.|
|Buses, taking into account stops, use an average of $39$ litres of fuel per $100$km|
You might also want to challenge other commonly accepted green ideas or the impact of various green activities. For example, what is the relative impact of these green measures? What mass of carbon do these various common activities use up?