Is It GREEN ????????

  It really isn't.
Bottled Water
Is...........    GREEN  
So all you water drinkers, FEEL GOOD, pat yourself on the back, and sneer at your compatriots destroying the environment for the sake of their hydration.  Here's the ranking by carbon content.
  1. Water - 82 g of carbon.
  2. Soda:  170 g of carbon (less if diet and figure 680 g for those monster two hand sized types).
  3. Coffee - plain 'ole Joe - light with sugar: over 70g of carbon in a disposable cup, and over 80 to 120 g if you handwash that mug (depending on how hot the water is, how fast you are).
  4. Coffee drinks - the lattes, double iced cappachino, soy milk, flavored taste sensations we all love:  300 g of carbon plus.
  5. Beer - depending on whose beer 600 g of carbon, tap beer is less, local brew even less.
  6. Wine - 600 to 1,200 g of carbon, depending on where it comes from, to get under this aim for an organic local vintage from a box.

    How can you protect yourself from such politically incorrect activities as drinking a 32 oz milkshake laced with a little bit of coffee?  Consider what goes into making it and it's embedded carbon (which is all the carbon that was created, when all the energy was used, to "make" something - or for that matter, to provide a service).  Here's what torpedos all of Bottle Water's competition:
    1.  Refrigeration
    2.  Creating ingredients
    3.  Procesing 
    4.  Transportation
    5.  Packaging
         Not clear enough, see end of page for details.

    Now, tap water is often an option, but not always.
    • Carrying a liter or two of water from home every day may not be feasible.  
    • Refilling your own personal water bottle (which isn't carbon free) might not be feasible.  
    • It's not "carbon free", there is the embedded carbon in the bottle, and cleaning your water bottle daily - and I hope you do - will create 10 - 100 g of carbon, depending how you do it.
    • You might not "like" what water comes from the tap.  Old pipes, sulphur and minerals, storage tanks, all add their own "taste" to water, and it might not be to your taste.  

      Finally, this isn't a preachy don't drink anything but water or the world will flood under global warming.  The carbon impact of what you drink is a measly 1% of you total carbon footprint. Here's what you have easy control of and should concentate on greening up:
      Individual car use - cut back or use a car share program if available.
      Flying - cut back, defiinitely fly coach, travel by train or car whenever possible.
      Building's energy use - insulate and in the North turn the heat down and put on a sweater (in the South, get used to the heat and humidty or move North).

      Below is my start on the backup detail and documentation for beverages:

      Soda and Carbon:  Click here for Reference


      Coffee and  Carbon:  Click here for Reference


      Beer and Carbon:  Click here for Reference


      The Ultimate Water Bottle:  Click here for Information


      What is Embedded Carbon? 

      In short – it’s all the carbon created, and if not sequestered or offset, added to the atmosphere by the existence of an object or even a service.  Also known as “embedded” carbon.

      A guide toward environmental LCC:  Click here for EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know.


       “Net Zero” and Carbon – Are Like - Apples and Oranges

      Net Zero as commonly used seems to refer to buildings and their energy use ONLY.  Meaning, it uses, or offsets it’s use of energy for it’s day to day operations.  


      What about everything that isn’t a building or other structure / earthwork, etc?  What about IPods, plates, CARS????


      That is where Carbon Calculations come into their own.  Carbon is a perfect proxy for fossil fuel energy use.  Carbon allows you to account for differing energy sources carbon production, from coal to natural gas to nuclear.   Carbon allows enables you to also account for the environmental impact in creating photovoltaic’s, wind and tidal generators.   Finally, Carbon allows you to account for the environmental impact in creating not just buildings, but EVERYTHING we use, consume and do!

      When considering a Building’s Carbon Impact, there is the carbon created to produce energy for day to day operation or use, the “Embedded” Carbon in the material and equipment that make up the building, including the growing  / mining, manufacturing, all transportation, the fuel for the equipment during construction and hauling waste material away.


      Operating energy represents a majority of a building’s “embedded” carbon.  In the past, it represented the bulk of the embedded carbon, as buildings were not insulated, shaded, or designed to minimize energy use, and consumed much more energy in their operation.  Modern buildings are heavily insulated with glazing and MEP sized to minimize operating energy required, increasing the proportion of embedded carbon represented by the building.   This makes material selection more important, and I’ll give you a hint, the only building material that has NO embedded carbon are those in an existing building.  


      The ULTIMATE NET ZERO Building is an existing one that Zeros out it’s operating energy needs, and has been re-used with minimal, demolition or addition of new materials.

      Details of embedded carbon in beverages:
      1.  Refrigeration:  All that milk in your drink spent the last week in refrigerated comfort.  That beer has probably spent weeks in refigerated comfort.
      2.  Creating the ingredients:  
      To make that milk, some cow had to be fed (trucked in feed, farm tractors to plow and harvest, chemical fertilizers used) and produced an icky by product that increased global warming worse than carbon - methane, which is by product of it's digestion ('nuff said).  It was then trucked, heated (pasturized), packaged, trucked again, and then trucked again probably.  You soy nuts don't get away with much less, no icky methane, but tons of trucking and processing to turn a bean into milk.
      Beer of course is made from farmed ingredients, though with very little processingd