Here’s to My Carbon Footprints in 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 is not one of our favorite year–we lost so many inspiring people this year. Donald Trump has become the US Presidents–which means might be taking few steps back on climate change issues policies, storm of religious issues in Indonesia, suicide bombs everywhere, Syrian war, and even Fidel Castro who has survived 635 assassination attempts could not survive 2016.

For me personally, 2016 is the year of trying.

I had my first job becoming a fixer earlier this year. I assisted Kadir van Lohuizen, a Dutch-photojournalist who has been awarded two World Press Photo, when he was doing his project about waste management in 5 big cities in the world including Jakarta. Working with him for two weeks has been an eye-opening for climate change issue, as I was also read ‘Where Will You Go?’ a zine about human consequences of the rising sea level.

“Where Will You Go?” An exhibition about human consequences of the rising sea level by Kadir van Lohuizen at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta until January 31, 2017.

I tried making my own personal projects; I have 3 issues that I’m working on, but two of them suspended because idea block–and mostly doubts.

I tried applying many photography grants–which I got none, applying several photography workshops–which most of them rejected, until I finally won scholarship spot from Burn Magazine that made me ended up attending Magnum Photos Workshop last October in Bangkok.

Ok I won’t talk any dreamy resolutions for next year, or blabbing my achievements this year (cause I have none, lol), but as a responsible world citizen, I have to count my carbon footprints.

There’s this cool website, MyClimate which have calculator for carbon footprints. You can have raw estimate by answering 7 questions or go details by counting everything (flights, estimate mobility, households, and consumption).

I tried the raw estimate carbon footprints and got 5.290 t CO2, but I guess in some question I should have more to counts, because I flown more than 2 times this year, and less in another, like I only eat meat twice in a month.

So I tried detailed calculation.

  • This year I fly 13 times = 2.857 t
  • Average transport this year (2000 km by minicar) = 0.395 t (I always use train and a little bit commuting with motorbike so I think it should be less)
  • Electricity = 0.3 t
  • I rarely buy clothes and eat meat once in every several weeks.

In total my carbon footprints in 2016 = 3.552 t CO2

The maximum amount of CO2 a person should produce per year in order to halt climate change = 2.0 t CO2

The amount of CO2 a citizen of the EU produces each year on average = 9.10 t CO2

Look, I don’t intend to make everyone guilty, but instead to be more conscious about our acts. Because at this point, every step will count, every pounds of meat we ate, counts. We can’t risk to let our guards down like we’ve been doing for the past decades.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not intending to limit you either. But when we know how much we exceed the limit, we will think more before deciding something. I have excess 1.355 t CO2 to suspense, now the most important question is,

What are we gonna do about it?

The answer of the question will also define how much we care about the issues. We can do many little simple things to contribute, that really means a lot. (For example; bring your own cup to coffee shops, less eating palm oil products, less eating meat, recycle plastic bottle, and yadda yadda yadda). It’s an easy math, if you happen to have to fly often, then you just have to contribute more. We can’t take everything for granter forever.

Now, how much your carbon footprints this year?

Let’s count!

Raw estimation
Detailed calculation