Carbon Footprint of Select Items
The given portfolio of household and travel expenses (i.e., $180 Spectrum Cable bill, $100 Verizon bill, $600 round-trip commercial flight from LGA to DEN, $100 round-trip Uber to/from airport) has a total carbon footprint of 0.7 metric tones and a carbon emission offset cost of $6. The details associated with these figures are available within the enclosed spreadsheet.
Key Notes / Assumptions
- Carbon Footprint (link here) was leveraged as a key source in calculating the carbon footprint and carbon offset costs associated with the given portfolio of household and travel expenses, given that this carbon footprint estimator is publicly available and widely used.
- Specifically for the round-trip commercial flight from LGA to DEN, the research team assumed that the seat was in economy class, given that this is the most common option for travelers. No carrier was specified in the carbon footprint calculation for this flight, given that the intended airline choice for this trip was not provided.
- For the accompanying Uber ride to/from the airport, the research team inferred that the ride would be from New York, New York to LGA, given that LGA is the closest/most common airport choice for those located in the city. Moreover, an Uber ride from New York, New York to LGA is approximately $50 dollars, which matches the provided one-way cost estimate for the ride. The associated mileage of this trip was determined using Google Maps (with the fastest route in usual traffic), while the Uber vehicle itself was assumed to be a 2013 Toyota Prius, given that the latest available information indicates that the Prius is the most common Uber vehicle, and 2013 is the average allowable model year for an Uber vehicle in New York (all Ubers in the state must be a model year of 2006 or newer). Notably, the carbon cost of such a short trip in this vehicle was negligible.
- Separately, the research team also included the carbon footprint of the cell phone and television that were associated with the Spectrum cable and Verizon bills for the purpose of completeness. The carbon footprint associated with the cell phone was determined by using the average consumer smartphone cost in the US ($580.27) and the average lifespan of these devices in the country (2.5 years). Similarly, the carbon footprint associated with the television was determined by using the latest available data on the average consumer TV cost in the region ($544) and the average lifespan of this equipment (5 years).
- Meanwhile, the research team used the least expensive available option for offsetting the carbon footprint of this portfolio of household and travel expenses (i.e., Global Portfolio VCS). Notably, other available options were in some cases triple the cost.