It’s time for the Bieners to get leaner. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not doing anything crazy like cutting down on ice cream sundaes or our regular chocolatey indulgences. No, I’m talking about a different kind of slimming down. I’m talking carbon diet.
You know? Carbon diet. As in — does this road trip make my footprint look fat?
Thing is, we’ve decided to take a big old road trip this summer. Wagons east, loading up the car, stuffing it full of luggage, kids and gasoline. The kids and the suitcases I can manage; it’s all that fossil fuel that’s making me feel guilty.
We make this trip each year, but there’s something about standing and pumping that gasoline every 6 hours or so for days on end that makes it feel like more of a carbon splurge than the jet fuel we usually consume on this bit of travel. I’m feeling the need to assuage some of my guilt before we hit the road.
So I hit the internet. There are loads of dietary options floating around on the internet.
We could go meat-free for a couple of months. Studies reveal that one kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.
Speaking of lights, we could take a cue from Earth Hour and sit around in the dark a little more often. Or, once summer hits we could forgo turning on the air conditioning, and just rely on that old fashioned evening breeze. I could cut down my 36 weekly trips to get groceries to just one car ride a week to the store. That sounds delightful. In fact, I’m pledging right here, right now to make that one a reality. So what if my family eats pancakes for dinner every now and then? At least I finally learned to make them the right way.
So many worthy ideas, and yet all options paled in comparison once I happened upon the perfect solution to our proposed carbon diet: chocolate! As in climate change chocolate. Each bar comes with an offset of 133 carbon dioxide reductions, which is roughly the size of the average American daily footprint. Also, the recycled wrappers are coated in clever tips to help us tread more lightly upon our planet.
All I need is a moment to crunch the numbers. Let’s see:
- 4 people in our happy little family
- 1600 miles to go
- One 1999 Subaru getting approximately 26 miles/gallon
Ok then. Assuming my calculations are correct, and adjusting for varying wind velocity, I’ll need to eat about 5,893 candy bars to make peace with the world.
It’s a small price to pay. I think this diet and I are going to be great friends.