It’s not often I get our business accounts all up to date in April but due to the lockdown I’ve had a chance that catch up with the paperwork so yes I’ve got the books up to date. But this time as well as logging the dates and amounts, I also logged the litres of fuel consumed by the fire engine and the hi-lux during the event season. I’m fun like that.
So here’s some fun facts for you..
We filled the fire engine the grand total of 9 times. It used 647.5 litres of fuel. The hi-lux used a similar 670.6 litres but will have driven many more miles as we use it for errands and visiting in between events. A guesstimate of miles per gallon is 25mpg for the hi-lux and 13mpg for the fire engine.
After looking through a few carbon emission calculators and other sites I settled on the larger number of 2.68 kg of carbon dioxide emitted for every litre of diesel consumed. If anyone reading this has a better calculation of this with reference please do comment. We’re all here to learn!
So skip the maths for those who don’t like it and we have 1735 kg or 1.7 tons of CO2 emitted from the fire engine and 1797 kg/1.8 tons CO2 from the hi-lux. Now I have my own personal feelings about off setting carbon and it can be misused by heavy emitters making millions from polluting the planet. But for us, it’s something we can practically do to say sorry to the world for driving dirty diesel engines about.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve been heckled for using a diesel truck to raise awareness about sustainable living. Our response usually highlights our low impact lifestyle and the fact that the fire engine towing our home from event to event is still far less than the average household. So how much carbon would a household emit over a 5 month festival season?
From a study I just found on the internet (1) it states a family of two adults and two children (as we are) would emit 28 tons of CO2 from home energy, transport and indirect emissions per year. Divide and multiply this figure for 5 months and you get 11.7 tons compared to our 3.5 tons for both vehicles over the 5 month season, not bad eh. Now the 11.7t figure does include indirect emissions which our 3.5t does not but the difference is still clear and even with indirect emissions added we would emit less than half CO2 than the ‘average’ family our size. Modern houses are designed to consume energy but that’s a whole other blog about passive houses!
Back to the offsetting and although there are quite a few organisations who can off set carbon for you, in the true spirit of self sufficiency and off grid living I thought that us planting enough trees would suit us better. Now having spent the last seven winters living in the woods we have planted many trees but not to off set. According to a google search, and please correct me if you have credible reason to, one tree will absorb 250kg (1/4 ton) of CO2 in its lifetime.
Great, now we’re getting somewhere, so the fire engine needs just under 7 trees and the hi-lux just over, give or take a few kgs. Therefore we need to plant 14 trees to offset our summer diesel use. That doesn’t seem to hard to achieve so I will update you all on my progress with that!
(Picture is of trees saved by nana to plant).
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Family run business providing solar power, lighting and education at UK festivals in the summer and installing off grid power systems in the winter.