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My Dog Has A Bigger Carbon Footprint Than My SUV

06/17/2011

Carbon footprint defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a measure of greenhouse gases that are produced by the activities of an individual or a business that burns fossil fuels.

OK. So is this just a feel-bad metric?

Some “experts” say that pets have a pretty significant carbon footprint (CF), “if you consider meat and other products requiring land usage. These tidbits come from “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by Vale.

  • The carbon footprint of a 4X4 vehicle that drives 12,400 miles yearly – equals the CF of a medium-sized dog
  • The CF of a Volkswagen Golf – slightly larger than the CF of a house cat
  • The CF of a plasma TV – the same size CF as two hamsters (who measures that?)
  • The CF of two mobile phones – equivalent of the CF of a gold-fish (who measures that?)

This comparison is a bit silly. My dog Pika, who at 12 years old, weighs nearly 80 pounds. She eats food that is mostly grain (so yes there’s fossil fuels involved with producing grain)…but other than that she doesn’t consume a lot of other products. On the other hand my SUV is an 8 cylinder Toyota Sequoia. It’s built from all kinds of metals, plastics and glass. It’s filled with fluids of nasty nature. In today’s economy it takes about $70 to fill the tank which lasts about 5 days.

I find it hard to fathom that my dog and my SUV are of equal planetary negativeness.

Most importantly I’m not going to spend any time worrying or thinking about it. Both Pika and my SUV are loyal, dependable and part of who I am.

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