Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How to make Salvo Fair carbon neutral

Salvo Fair - MAKING the Salvo Fair carbon neutral should be fairly easy. You add up the estimated mileage done by all the exhibitors and visitors which gives the total miles, and estimate the mpg of the different vehicles, and this gives the total carbon dioxide produced.

Its all slightly rough and ready but the sums go like this:
65 exhibitors, 2 average vehicles a car and a 2 tonner, 100 miles average x2 there and back = 26,000 truck miles, 26,000 car miles
3,000 visitors with 1,500 cars, 50 miles average x2 there and back = 150,000 car miles

So, total car miles = 176,000 = 280,000km. Total truck miles = 26,000 = 42,000km. Total emissions = 90tCO2 (see calculatoir link below).

OPTION 1: Buy carbon offset:
A. Carbon Neutral Co cost £903 eg given to or invested in Mongolian wind farm or Indian hydropower.
B. CO2 Balance cost £810 for solar ovens in East Africa, low energy light bulbs in Kenya, or £1080 for turning pasture into woodland in Cornwall or £1,755 for paying into the EUA Phase II emissions trading scheme which somehow reduces the UK's emissions.
C. Carbon Clear costs £672 for brick kilns in Nicaragua, cookers in Sudan, tricycle taxis in Philippines and tree planting in the tropics.

OPTION 2: Plant some trees at Knebworth. This is not as simple as it might seem. Martha Cobbold is happy for us to contribute towards the cost of planting new trees at Knebworth which would happen under their supervision, although we though we could turn it into a Salvo Fair event. Planting trees seemed an unequivocally good idea until a couple of years ago when scientists realised that the further north you travel, the less global warming is reduced by planting trees. Above the artic circle trees actually increase global warming because, although they absorb carbon dioxide, the tree cover raises ground temperature by absorbing heat rather than reflecting it as bare snow would do. Scientists now say that planting trees in temperate areas is carbon neutral, so the only place to plant trees to offset carbon is in the tropics. We calculated that, assuming the trees were hardwoods that lived for 200 years and ignoring the ground effect (how often does Knebworth have snow cover anyway?), we would need to plant 120 trees. If the trees lived for 400 years we would need 60 trees. Most of Knebworth's park trees are long living. This would be one tree per exhibitor, and each exhibitor would be asked to plant one. But this cannot happen because now is the wrong time to plant trees, so we are planning to do this for next years Salvo Fair.

OPTION 3: When you think about it, the exhibitors at Salvo are probably all carbon negative because they reclaimed old things and sell them to people who reuse them instead of buying new stuff. How can that be put into figures?
Total mileage to offset = 176,000 car miles @ 36mpg = 5,000 gallons fuel and 26,000 truck miles at 22mpg = 1,200 gallons fuel giving a total of 6,200 gallons. Since 12 bricks or clay roof tiles embodies the energy of a gallon of petrol, 6,200 gallons is roughly 72,000 reclaimed bricks or roof tiles reused. For 3,000 visitors this would mean 24 bricks each. So if the average visitor buys the energy equivalent of 24 bricks, we are already carbon neutral! On the Salvo stand at this years fair we would like to have a bright 12 year old capable of calculating the embodied energy of everything sold at the fair so that we are able to prove it.

Carbon Neutral Co Business Carbon Calculator

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