Out with the combustion engine, in with the electric vehicle.
As my original inventory made unmistakably clear, the mobility block, and in particular my daily commute to work, has been the single biggest contributor to my carbon footprint so far. For this reason, I summarized and contrasted possible alternatives in another blog post.
Probably unsurprisingly, the decision came down to the purchase of an electric vehicle, which I will use to commute to work in the future. We decided on the Mazda MX-30, which comes with a reasonably large (or small, as you prefer) battery pack for us, and otherwise leaves little to be desired.
We got rid of our 11 year old station wagon, with which we had great adventures and trips and whose huge trunk was very practical from time to time. In recent years, however, we've actually hardly used the size of the vehicle and also used it almost exclusively in city traffic - clearly not the normal stomping ground for the E-Class.
The big (and thirstiest) car in the fleet has found a new owner and we're doing a ring swap in the family: for longer journeys and holidays we're keeping the B-Class, which my wife also uses for normal everyday driving. For the commute to Hamburg, I use the Mazda and drive fully electric and emission-free. Of course, we charge it with green electricity (from the roof or the local electricity supplier).
A new era begins
Certainly, an electric vehicle is not the solution for everyone. For us it fits almost perfectly. We will generate enough electricity via the new PV system to be able to supply the electric vehicle in addition to consumer electricity and heating. We have two permanent parking spaces on the property, which we were able to equip with charging columns without any problems in the course of installing the solar system. So I can easily charge the electric car while I'm at home - the next morning the car is fully charged and ready to go.
The next few months will show to what extent my consumption figures correspond to reality.
Climate-friendly on the road
With the purchase of the electric car (and the solar system) we have removed the largest item from our carbon footprint. This will save us just over 5 tonnes of CO2 per year! I suspect my commute to work will increase by a few minutes (because I'll probably be travelling a bit slower on the motorway than before), but again, only time will tell.
That being said, my commute comfort actually increases a bit because the Mazda MX-30 has some very nice extras that I really look forward to in my day-to-day driving (e.g. the HeadUp display and especially the adaptive cruise control that automatically "floats" with traffic).
The purchase price of the Mazda is, of course, a real headache, but thanks to the BAFA bonus and the First Edition equipment, it's actually quite reasonable. As the running costs are massively lower (maintenance costs much lower, electricity costs much cheaper than petrol station, 10 years tax-free, cheaper insurance), I also hope that this investment will pay for itself over the years. However, this is certainly a calculation that can only be verified retrospectively.
Apart from this major change, we have continued to work on details. When it comes to food, we are already paying more attention to buying regional and seasonal products and giving preference to organic goods. This also reduces the family CO2 footprint by almost 800 kg per year. We could do even more if we ate a vegetarian diet - but we haven't reached that point yet.
Here we have reviewed our (normal) purchases of the last few months and have probably expected too high values for 2019. Also, we have been paying attention to longevity and quality for a while now and also buy some things used. Without us having to restrict ourselves here felt particularly, the CO2 climate calculator shows here for our key data 1.6 tCO2 less than for 2019.
And thanks to the big purchases in the last months, we have to save now anyway ;-)
Public emissions is the only category where we can't optimize anything directly. This is where the government's emissions are recorded and allocated to residents - e.g. administration, infrastructure, water supply, waste disposal, etc. Unfortunately, these emissions have increased compared to 2019, from 0.73 tonnes ofCO2 per resident to 0.86 tonnes. So for our household, that's 2.58 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Although we have no influence at all on this item, it annoys me: not only is it the only area where we have not been able to reduce anything, on the contrary it has actually grown for 2021.
So for our 3 person household in 2021 we will generate approximately 11.84 tonnes ofCO2. This gives us aCO2 footprint per person of 3.94 tonnes peryear.
We will see later this year whether we have calculated correctly and our assumptions are correct. I will report here and, if necessary, correct values if we deviate from our plan. At the end of the year, we will then offset our CO2 emissions.
If the plan works out, 2021 will indeed be the first carbon neutral year of this household. :-) If that's not a reason to celebrate.
With this in mind: Happy New Year to you all!
Challenge: Climate neutrality.
I want to significantly reduce my carbon footprint already in 2021 and become climate neutral in the future. If you want to join me on this adventure and are interested in my progress and thoughts, I will report about it on this page.
If you have any ideas or are facing a similar task, I would be very happy about your comment or message.