Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Climate change is an existential threat to humans, which is why it is our mission at BlueRoof Foundation to educate consumers on how to reduce their energy and carbon footprint. It is important that everyone make small changes in their lives to address this problem before we will be forced to make drastic changes. Let’s take a look at the top 3 changes you can make to reduce his or her carbon footprint.
The United States emits roughly 5.5 gigatons of CO2 per year, which amounts to roughly 15 tons per person. The three big components of these emissions are personal automobiles, home energy, and air travel. Food, clothing and other smaller items are important but difficult to change easily. We will explore the Big Three and identify changes necessary to reduce our carbon impact. In Part 1 of this post we will focus on electric vehicles (EV) and its impact on your carbon footprint. With each of these changes we will focus on financial ROI to make sure it is a financially sound investment.
An average US automobile travels 12,000 miles per year and at about 22 miles/gallon of gas the automobile will emit roughly about 5.5 tons of CO2 per year. Unless you are willing to buy an EV and generate your own solar energy, it is difficult to eliminate your carbon footprint. According to the EIA, a government agency, based on 2017 data your EV carbon footprint per mile can vary quite widely from one state to another. For example, in Vermont which is the lowest carbon footprint for electricity, every 1,000 EV miles will result in only 6 pounds of CO2, which is extremely low. On the other hand, in Wyoming the same 1000 EV miles will result in 750 pounds of CO2. US average for the same 1,000 EV miles is about 360 pounds of CO2. Below is a list of all states and their carbon footprint per 1,000 EV miles along with carbon footprint for some of the most popular vehicles. For reference, a Toyota Prius will emit 320 pounds for 1,000 miles and a Ford F150 pickup truck will emit about 1,000 pounds per 1,000 mile.
As you can see there is a wide variation in EV footprint by state. EVs are slightly more expensive to buy compared to an equivalent gasoline car, but between reduced or zero annual maintenance cost and reduced annual fuel cost the difference in initial cost can be made up in less than 5 years with certain EVs.
A typical EV can save approximately $1,200.00 per year over a gasoline powered car. If you take the environmental impact into consideration, buying an EV becomes a no-brainer – even at a lower ROI.
Used EVs are some of the best value cars in the market available today as per multiple car valuation websites like Edmunds and Kelley Bluebook. This is the single greatest change you can make to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Since our grid is becoming cleaner by the day, your EV carbon footprint will only reduce in the future!
We will discuss the other 2 components of your carbon footprint in a follow up post, so check back soon.