"Global warming isn't a prediction. It is happening."
Click the link below to see our 2017/2018 offsets
OUR CURRENT 2019 ANNUAL EMISSIONS ESTIMATE : 2.021 METRIC TONS.
We believe that everyone should take responsibility for their own mess that they’re inevitably making, and we aim to do that for our brand here at Lighthearted Humans. We always take into account our own impact, not our team members and their own lifestyle choices outside of work, nor the companies we work with and allow us to do what we do; We feel that they can take care of themselves. We are always working to mitigate our initial impact, but it is inevitable that each and every one of us - individual or business - will have some some sort of negative impact on the environment whether consciously or not, so to start things off, we are trying to take care of our own carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets from the California cap and trade offset program.
-TOTAL EMISSIONS TO OFFSET (2019)-
AS OF March, 2019 : 2.021 METRIC TONS CO2
To calculate our emissions, we track how many people are working on a project, and for how many hours. We track how much electricity they use, and their vehicle miles traveled to complete the project. We also track preproduction and post production editing depending on the type of creator, for example, a photographer or videographer might use more electricity in post production than will a fine artist creating a painting or other artwork.
We could use a site like carbonfund.org which helps both individuals and businesses of any size offset their carbon footprints, but here at Lighthearted Humans, we’re a bunch of nerds and scientists and wanted to try and be as accurate as we could ;)
In certain areas like California, and Europe, carbon quotas, dependent on production of CO2 are required to be purchased from major polluters. These types of programs have been known to work in the past like with TitleIV of the 1990 Clean Air Act which initiated the Sulpher Dioxide Emissions trading program to reduce acid rain in the Eastern United States, and was highly successful. There are other types of programs with similar concepts like Newzeland’s Catch share program allowing fisherman quotas of fish to catch, but similarly to carbon quotas, it’s the ability to trade these quotas is what leads to efficiency in use of these harmful pollutants, and the optimal amount of environmental damage - not the lowest - an important clarification. You can read more about these types of programs, and other various programs to mitigate climate change through our current economic system in Naomi Klien’s book This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs The Climate a great read for those trying to navigate the political realm of climate change.
So, by buying permission to emit a certain amount of CO2 into the atmosphere from an official auction on the open market, we are both paying to take that CO2 out of the atmosphere, as well as increasing the price of the offsets themselves which makes it more expensive for companies to continue polluting into the future. Check out our calculations and project emissions history below. To offset your businesses carbon footprint, or even an individuals, is likely easier and more affordable than you think!
This is a graph of emissions by state.
Here is a per capita graph of energy related emissions by states. So, per person, Wyoming is far higher than Texas, the largest emitting state when it comes to this because they have far fewer people, and much more fossil fuel production.
Here in California where we are choosing to base our emissions off of, as a state we emit the equivalent of about 360 million metric tons of CO2 annually, and there are 39.5 million people living in California, so that’s about 9.1 tons of CO2 emitted per cali. We are fortunate to include many forms of green energy here in California, and that helps us lower our average rate below the US average of 16.1 tons per year and reported three ton world average. That’s about 1.5 tons per person per year.
-Calculating an electrical footprint-
We use data from the EPA’s 2015 report, and the US Energy Information Administration to calculate our averages.
According to the Energy Information Administration, From the year 2000 through 2005, CO2 emission levels fell in 41 states, and rose in 9 states, and from 2014-2015, 31 states saw a decrease, and 18 saw an increase in total CO2 emissions, Oregon’s was unchanged, and over this time, the national emissions decreased by 2.7%.
To calculate our electricity emissions, we track our teams electricity kilowatt hours used (based on proposals and time tracking for payroll) while working, and time on the internet (though google is actually carbon neutral to a certain extent), our internet service providers electricity usage we use to host our website, and any electricity required to produce our content.
According to Forbes magazine and the Electric Power Research institute, the MacBook pro uses an 85W power supply which if used for one hour would be 0.085kWh, and an average Californian who is emitting an average of 527 pounds of CO2 emissions per MWh - or 0.527 pounds per kWh - that means that for every hour you’re charging your laptop, that’s about 0.045 pounds - just over 2 grams - of CO2 emitted for every hour your charging your laptop, and across 20 million macs sold last year, that can add up!
A similar calculation can be made for using the iphone, which has a 5W charger. That’s about 0.003 pounds - or 1.4 grams - of CO2 for every hour of charging your phone.
we thought that this was a pretty cool infographic from climate care.
Among other things, it tells us that every second we spend looking at pictures or videos on the internet is correlated with about .2 grams of CO2 emissions. So lets say we stream a movie on Netflix, and 90 minutes, at 13.2 grams per minute that’s about 1188 grams - or 2.6 pounds - of CO2 just to watch one of my personal favorites: Memento.
Netflix and Youtube are accounting for more than 50% of internet usage during peak hours in North America.
While google’s operations are all (or mostly) carbon neutral, and Apple, and Facebook are not far behind, striving for their servers to run on 100% renewable energy in the near future, it’s still important to note that every time you search that server access which is referencing multiple locations is using between .2 and 7 grams of CO2! So with 1.2 trillion google searches every year thats between, 264555 and 9259440 metric tons of CO2 every year, or an average of 1.2 pounds per person per year, but most of that is probably due to a select number of people down the 3:00 am rabbit holes we all know and love. Oh, and an email will set you back 4 grams of CO2, and something with a large attachment, say a couple high quality photos - which we usually try to airdrop because it's way easier - may send you all the way up to 50 grams. So can see how the average person’s footprint can start adding up!
According to Science Daily, the average Americans carbon footprint is about 20 tons, compared to the rest of the world’s average which is about 4 tons.
Using the EPA’s CARBON CALCULATOR, one gallon of gasoline is about the equivalent 21.8 passenger miles driven, and the average mpg of America’s cars. Burning one gallon of gas is the equivalent of 19.6lbs of CO2, or 0.009 metric tons. We use this calculation in our vehicle miles traveled for each project.
We bank with Beneficial State Bank from Oakland California. As of the time we set up our account, Beneficial was the most ethical bank we could find with minimal ties to the fossil fuel industry. It’s run by Kat Taylor the Co-Founder, and her husband Tom Steyer who is a multibillion dollar hedge fund manager, philanthropist, and recently; environmental activist. They have together created a community bank with the goal of empowering communities across the United States, and have the future goal of creating a banking system that is beneficial to all, they were also happy to hear that we would be buying carbon offsets as well ;)