Ever wondered what the carbon footprint of a cheeseburger is? No? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway!
We’ve spent the past few weeks researching the carbon footprint for over 100 different everyday items so that we could compare them against each other. For example, did you know that a space shuttle flight has the equivalent carbon footprint of 15,333,333 pints of beer… that’s a whole lot of beer!
So here’s a list of 20 different items that could be contributing to your own carbon footprint…
1. 100 watt light bulb (1 year) – 500kg CO2e
Turning those lights off really can make a big difference, especially if you’re not using energy efficient lighting.
2. A banana – 80g CO2e
That’s right, bananas are destroying our planet! Well, not really, but they have a much bigger carbon footprint than you’d think.
3. Taking a bath – 1.1kg CO2e
For all you lovers of a long soak in the bath, you may want to consider the fact that a single dip in the bath has more than double the carbon impact of taking a shower!
4. Taking a shower – 500g CO2e
This one’s based around a 6 minute rinse in a typical electric shower. If you’re quicker than this then you can reduce this down to just 90g CO2e (based on a 3 minute shower).
5. Cup of tea with milk – 71g CO2e
If you, like me, are a lover of the great British cuppa tea then you’re probably in for a shock here. By simply adding milk to your mug you’ll be contributing an extra 50g CO2e. Is it worth dropping the milk?
6. Black tea – 21g CO2e
All you black tea drinkers have something else to be smug about. One black tea is the equivalent to around a quarter of a banana – not bad.
7. Bottle of beer – 500g CO2e
And here comes the biggest issue that shoots across everyone’s mind when guzzling down a bottle of their favourite ale… is my beer killing the planet? When compared to the likes of a cheeseburger, beer comes out on top. The only problem is that once you’ve had a few of these, a burger will usually follow later on in the night!
8. Bottle of wine – 1.04kg CO2e
You can actually reduce your carbon footprint by drinking cartons of wine as opposed to bottles. On the flip-side, if you like your fancy imported wine that’s travelled a number of miles to get to you then you could be racking up a footprint of around 1.5kg CO2e per bottle.
9. A large cappuccino – 235g CO2e
The big contributor here is the milk content. If you enjoy a morning cappuccino at any of the major coffee chains then you’ll be contributing around 235g CO2e at the start of each day.
10. Cheeseburger – 2.5kg CO2e
Well, here’s a reason to go veggie – veggie burgers have 1.5x less carbon emissions than cheeseburgers. If you want to make a difference but retain your love of burgers, this could be an option…
11. Being cremated – 80kg CO2e
Who knew dying was so bad for the planet? Don’t beat yourself up too much though, a diamond necklace is five times worse than this.
12. Driving 1 mile – 710g CO2e
Popping out to the shops down the road? Maybe get some exercise and walk next time.
13. Using a Dyson Airblade – 3g CO2e
Good old Dyson, creating a way for us to dry our hands without completely destroying Earth in the process.
14. An email with 1mb attachment – 19g CO2e
Adding just a small attachment can dramatically increase the carbon footprint of your emails. Consider reducing the file size before you press send and it could make a big difference.
15. An email with no attachment – 4g CO2e
As you can see, dropping those bulky attachments can make a big difference…
16. Heart bypass operation – 1.1 tonnes CO2e
This adds a whole new meaning to keeping your heart healthy. You know what they say, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’… just make sure the apple has been sourced locally
17. iMac – 720kg CO2e
As beautiful as they are, they’ve got a pretty hefty carbon footprint. Especially when you consider that around 63g of carbon is emitted each hour of use (on top of this figure). Compare this to a simple low cost laptop (around 200kg CO2e) and you’ll notice the contrast.
18. Pair of jeans – 6kg CO2e
As far as clothing goes, jeans aren’t the worst from a CO2 point of view. The average pair of shoes will have a carbon footprint that’s nearly three times this figure. When you consider that you’d have to send 428,571 SMS messages to equal the CO2e of a pair of jeans, it kind of puts things in perspective.
19. Boiling an electric kettle – 70g CO2e
Although an electric kettle is the quickest way to boil water, and it’s true that by filling your kettle up with less water you’ll reduce the carbon footprint, a gas powered kettle is much greener (by around 30%).
20. Boiling a gas kettle – 50g CO2e
If you own a vintage looking, hob-powered kettle, you may think that it has a much bigger footprint that an electric kettle. Well, you’re wrong. Using a gas kettle is by far the most carbon-friendly way to boil your water, especially if you heat it up on a small gas ring (it may take a little longer though).