It's my intention to complete a mini-project as part of my blog which will:-

1. Establish the carbon footprint of our current lifestyle; and
2. Review all kinds of methods that I can use to reduce our carbon footprint.

To track posts directly relating to this project only, hit the label "Carbon Footprint"....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

3 weeks of kms Monitoring

Week 1 - 186
Week 2 - 330
Week 3 - 255
Average - 257

Still a lot lower than we did when we lived in Beeliar!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


... the number of kms we did last week. Significantly less than the 900 or so we used to do when we lived in Beeliar, owned 2 cars and Ainslie drove to work!

I will maintain a weekly log of kms over the next month and use the average to r-calculate our carbon footprint.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sewing the Seeds...

We planted our first crops today. Beans, Brocoli, lettuce, tomatoes, silverbeet, chard and heaps of other stuff I can't remember.
We also planted out our aquaponics grow bed so we'll be able to see a clear comparison, assuming the aquaponics system is cycling.
Will post photo's soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Been a while, but I just wanted to mention that we have got some new 'pets'for our aquaponics project. We took delivery of 25 trout which are settling into our 1000 litre tank quite nicely.They are fingerlings, which means that they are about a finger long. I think we've done ok because these guys are pretty big for a finger!

The down side is that they are sharing our tank with about 30 silver perch which are significantly smaller. A good size snack for the trout.

Which gets me thinking; I better not use the term 'pet', the next thing I'll know is the kids will want to name them. I'm thinking "Breakfast", "lunch", ...

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Ainslie and I have now become downshifters. Well kind of. It hasn't been entirely voluntary. Let's just say that when the bottom fell out of the sub-prime market in early 2008 we were perfectly aligned to feel the full force of it.
Anyway, that doesn't really matter because we are embracing the whole downshifting concept with relish!
We have now moved into a rental property which is perfect for allowing us to grow a significant amount of our own produce. It already has mature orange, grapefruit, mandarin and plum trees and there is plenty of room for us to set up our chook house.
The location is great - we are walking distance to a railway station, very close to our very favourite daycare centre, Como Children, and the local school is excellent.
It has allowed us to sell one of our cars which will significantly improve on our carbon footprint figure.
And finally, I've been offered a place at Curtin Uni to do a Ph.D!

Check out our lovely oranges!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Work is now underway...

25.16 tonnes of carbon/year

So how do we get this down and,
what figure would be a reasonable figure to aim for?

I would love to say "zero" as being the target for our emmissions but unless we consider becoming totally self-sufficient like these 2 characters, then it's just not realistic. And even they couldn't do it - they were still tied to the National Grid and used petrol driven farm equipment to boot!

I'm going to leave the final figure to aim for at present and look at the question of how to improve on our current situation. The breakdown of our figure is as follows:-

Waste - 3.3 tonnes
Travel - 11.76 tonnes
Energy Use - 6.95 tonnes
Food - 3.15 tonnes

I will look at these items individually in the next few posts...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

So... Which Calculator?

Right, so I have 4 different figures for the amount of carbon we, as a family, produce.
The Climate Friendly calculator did not include for waste production and type of diet so it was always going to come up shorter than the rest. There was really nothing to choose from with the other three. They all used the same or similar variables as the base for their calculations and came up with different figures but as the carbon offset industry is unregulated this isn't really a surprise.
So, I'm going to use the carbon neutral calculator because it was nice and simple to use, and it had the added feature of including public transport as a factor, which will become a feature in our carbon footprint in the next few months. The site also provides a figure of 28 tonnes as being the average amount of carbon produced by a single Australian in a year.