Chalmers offers tips to the family

The “Robinson” phase of One Tonne Life means that the family is making a huge effort to get close to the target of one tonne of carbon dioxide per person per year. Fredrik Hedenus and Anna Björk from the Chalmers University of Technology, who have been calculating the family’s carbon dioxide footprint from the very outset, put their heads together and wrote an open letter to the family and included a number of tips and suggestions – and we know that the family have already adopted several of the two experts’ suggestions:

“Hi Alicja, Nils, Hannah and Jonathan!

Today, eating out accounts for a relatively large proportion of emissions in the “food” category. If everyone in the family chooses vegetarian meals at work and at school, emissions from this category can be reduced to 0.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person and year. Previous weeks with mixed dishes for lunch have put greenhouse gas emissions between 0.6 and 0.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person and year. Taking a lunch box from home is one way of further cutting emissions; just how much you reduce emissions depends on what your lunch box contains. Both Fredrik and ICA have offered suggestions for healthy and nutritious vegetarian meals on

Meat and dairy products currently also account for a large proportion of your total emissions. If you abstain entirely from meat, you can reduce your emissions by 0.2-0.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person and year, which corresponds to the emissions from previous weeks. By replacing dairy products with oats and soya-based alternatives, emissions can be cut still further. For instance, one litre of regular dairy milk produces emissions corresponding to 1.5 kg CO2 equivalent compared with one litre of oats-based grain milk which only produces 0.3 kg CO2 equivalent.

Driving an electric car or cycling instead of taking the bus is a good alternative since the bus currently accounts for about 0.05 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person and year out of the approximately 0.2 tonnes of greenhouse gases for the travel category. If instead this distance were to be covered by bicycle, emissions would be zero and if driven in the electric car, there will only be a small increase since the car is recharged with electricity produced from hydropower. The metro is still a good alternative since it produces low emissions, 0.7 grams CO2 equivalent/person km compared with the bus which gives 27 grams/person km.

Emissions from furniture production are shown in the “Other” category, as part of the “rucksack”. You can choose to do without certain items of furniture, and emissions will decrease proportionately with the amount of furniture the family can do without. At present, emissions for the household’s total complement of furniture are 0.3 tonnes per person and year. If you can do without one-fifth of the furniture in your home, emissions can be cut by about 0.05 tonnes.
Recreational activities currently account for 0.1 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person and year. In order to get rid of emissions from this category, you will have to decline indoor activities.

Good luck!

Anna Björk & Fredrik Hedenus”