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20 More Ways That You're Killing the Planet

A few weeks ago we highlighted 20 ways in which you are killing the planet. Following interest in our previous post we decided to conduct further research into this subject.

Here are 20 more ways in which you’re killing the planet:

21. A large latte – 340g CO2e

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This is my guilty pleasure. Aside from the obvious health implications of drinking a latte every day, it’s one of the worst hot drinks to have from an environmental stance. One large latte outputs the equivalent of 16 cups of black tea.

22. 1 year’s usage of a low energy light bulb – 90kg CO2e

Leaving a light on for a year isn’t great, but if it’s going to be done, it’s much better for the planet if you use energy saving bulbs. In fact, it’s over 5.5x better.

23. 1 year of mobile phone usage – 1.25 tonnes CO2e

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Love your smartphone? Well, if you use yours for just 1 hour a day then you’ll be contributing towards the emissions of 1.25 tonnes of carbon. You’re not alone though; the estimated global carbon emissions from mobile phone usage is in the region of 125 million tonnes!

24. £100,000 mortgage (per year) – 800kg CO2e

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All the paperwork, communications, processes and maintenance involved in taking out your mortgage are just a small part of what’s involved when you pump money back into the financial services sector. You could always just set up camp somewhere and live your life as a nomad… not sure how much the kids would enjoy it though.

25. Paper retail carrier bag – 80g CO2e

Although you may feel like you’re in a scene from Sex in the City, those heavy printed paper retail bags actually have a big carbon impact compared to their recycled plastic counterparts. You may look less stylish, but it’s worth it in the long term.

26. Drying your hands with paper towels – 10g CO2e

You probably didn’t give it a second thought when you dried your hands on those blue paper towels in the office toilet, but using the fancy new Dyson Airblade is actually much better for the environment!

27. A litre of petrol – 3.15kg CO2e

Not only is it damaging to your bank balance (this seems to be getting more extreme day-by-day) but every litre of petrol you purchase contributes 3,150g CO2e. Considering that in the UK alone we get through around 50 billion litres of the stuff, it might be time to start looking at an electric car.

28. A pint of beer – 300g CO2e

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If you love your beer, stick to the pints. It may be larger in volume than a bottle but it has a much smaller carbon footprint (300g vs 500g). That’s good news all around!

29. A plastic carrier bag – 10g CO2e

For all the bad rep that plastic bags get, they’re actually one of the best types of carrier bag to use after your trip to the supermarket. Really lightweight, disposable ones can have a carbon footprint of just 3g, however, the heavyweight reusable ‘bags for life’ can have a footprint of 50g.

30. A bowl of porridge – 300g CO2e

Porridge is my morning fuel and I like it around half-filled with milk. If you like yours a little more milky and sweeter, you could be contributing up to 500g CO2e per bowl. A quick way to reduce the footprint of your breakfast is to skip the milk altogether and use water instead… gross.

31. A red rose – 350g CO2e

MEN – you’ve finally got an excuse to skimp out on Valentine’s Day!

32. Sending an SMS message – 0.014g CO2e

0.014g CO2e doesn’t seem like that much really, but when you total up the world’s SMS messages each year it comes to just over 35,000 tonnes. That figure looks like nothing when you compare it to the total footprint of the 2010 FIFA World Cup that weighed in at a staggering 2.8 million tonnes of CO2e.

33. A space shuttle flight – 4,600 tonnes CO2e

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Sending a shuttle into outer space has a pretty negative effect on the environment (as you’d probably have guessed). That’s the same as every person in the UK having a banana… I mean, I like bananas but I’d definitely rather take a trip to the moon.

34. Strawberries (in season) – 150g CO2e

Strawberries are at the higher end of the CO2e scale for fruit, equating to nearly double the carbon emissions of a banana, an orange or an apple.

35. Strawberries (out of season) – 1.8kg CO2e

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Like with most fruit, buying them locally and in season can drastically reduce their carbon footprint. Strawberries are a perfect example of this, increasing by 12x when you buy them out of season.

36. Using a dishwasher – 770g CO2e

Dishwashers, like washing machines, are become more and more energy efficient. A great way to help reduce the footprint of each of your dishwasher runs is to reduce the temperature down to 55 degrees.

37. A veggieburger – 1kg CO2e

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Kind on animals and the most carbon efficient form of burger around. The veggie burger prevails again!

38. Washing the dishes by hand – 540g CO2e

This figure is based on using water sparingly and also not using piping hot water. If you’re one of those people that keeps the tap running whilst washing up then you could actually raise this number to as much as 8kg CO2e!

39. Performing a web search – 4.5g CO2e

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Googling is harmless right? Well, not quite. It’s not far off the figure for sending an email (4g CO2e), but nowhere near as carbon friendly as sending an SMS text. For every web search you perform, you could have sent over 320 SMS text messages.

40. Mount Etna (per year) – 1,000,000 tonnes CO2e

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If you’re annoyed at the human race for having such a negative impact on the environment then you’re going to HATE volcanoes. Mount Etna alone emits around 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. Just to put that in context, that’s the equivalent of 217 flights into space or leaving the light on in your office for 2,000,000 years!

If you found this interesting hop over to our Carbonize App and compare the carbon footprint of over 100 different items.

You can also get a load of information surrounding the research sources that were used to create the app, with Mike Berners-Lee’s research being a huge part of it.