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Paul and Alan Booker continue their discussion about carbon footprint.  There are others who are watching by zoom.

Paul says the average carbon footprint per US adult is currently 30 tons per year, we need ideas to reduce that, ideally to minus 30 tons.  Alan thinks we should consider what contributes to that and also to energy and pollution footprints.

Chris speaks up: he has a 4 acre permaculture plot.  The large farm next door has been watching what he does and has changed how it operates: for example, catching rainwater.  Also, local people have been asking about rocket mass heaters.  This agrees with what Alan says that people need to see things before they will adopt them - most won't read a book and go out and do stuff.

Paul then asks Alan what his number one suggestion is for reducing carbon footprint.  Alan is an engineer; he says the number one energy use for most people is heat management, both heating and cooling their house, so that's the best place to start.  Paul wants everyone to have a RMH.  Alan has a webinar about negative carbon RMH, which is available on Permies.

Paul has a bunch of figures about carbon footprint for different methods of heating.  Electric and natural gas are bad, gas more than previously thought due to methane leaks.  Wood stoves are a lot better, and RMH better still: around 2% of the footprint of electric or gas.  Pellet stoves are not so good due to processing and transporting the pellets.

Next, Paul explains his #1 choice for reducing carbon footprint.  Eat an apple a day, save any seeds you find, and anywhere/when you get the chance, plant them.  Paul's estimate is that this will over 40 or so years sequester 100 tons of carbon per person per year.  

Dr Julia joins in and isn't wholly convinced: she hasn't seen many trees from seed at base camp and thinks that people will dismiss Paul's plan as unrealistic.  Paul lists a bunch of trees, and reminds us that base camp is mainly rock.

Relevant Threads

The Science Behind the Carbon Negative Rocket Mass Heater: Live Webinar with Alan Booker

carbon footprint and heat

Cider Press forum - for discussions on climate change.  Enter at your own risk.

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Apprentice Rocket Scientist
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Location: Portugal
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One thing I expect Alan Booker to mention but didn't hear, on the subject of heat management, is insulation.  Depending on climate and the specific building, (better) insulation can have a big effect on how much you have to heat or cool your house.

We live in Portugal where it can be pretty hot in summer, often reaching over 40°C (104°F) so mitigating heat getting into the house is important.  When we came here it had a plain tile roof, and although it had ceilings in the upstairs rooms they were just a single layer of boards.  Fitting some blue rigid foam insulation between the rooms and the loft space made a noticeable difference.  

This year I got some film for the windows: quite a lot of heat gets in that way.  It claims to reduce the heat transfer by 85%, and while I've not checked that you can sure feel the difference between the window with the film and no film, when the sun's coming in.  This applied even on double glazed ones.  I hope it will reduce heat loss in winter as well.

The latest thing is replacing the tile roof (it needed replacing anyway) with tile-effect sandwich panels.  It's not real hot right now, so the next impression will be whether the house takes less heating this winter.

None of this is even all that amazing insulation, but if you have no insulation to speak of, even mediocre insulation can have quite an effect.
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.

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