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Reduce Your Emissions

This page suggests ways to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, both at Burning Man and at home.  Please be sure to report any reductions you make to help CoolingMan track the total climate benefits achieved by participants.

Report GHG reductions >>

Reduce your Burning Man travel emissions: car pool


Participant road travel accounts for approximately 60% of total Burning Man emissions.   Other than buying a more efficient car or converting to biodiesel (below), the easiest way to reduce travel emissions is car pooling.  Burning Man offers a ride share listing you can use to find others to share the trip with.

Burning Man ride-share listing >>

Reduce your emissions at Burning Man: renewable energy and efficient lighting

Burning Man has collected the following resources to help participants use renewable energy on the Playa:

Solar and wind power

Biodiesel (for art cars and generators)

Other clean energy options

Efficient lighting

Use LED and compact fluorescent lighting to reduce your power needs and make it easier to use the renewable power options noted above.   And remember: lights should be removed before art projects and camp set-ups are burned since they may contain PVC wire or toxic heavy metals.

Reduce your emissions at home: use renewable energy and improve efficiency

You can contribute even more to the cause by reducing your emissions the other 51 weeks of the year.  Please report these actions to CoolingMan so they can be counted as helping offset Burning Man emissions.

Report GHG reductions >>

NOTE: For reference, the average US household emits ~80 tons (160K lbs) of GHG each year. (Source: RMI)

Direct Actions

Effect on GHG (CO2eq)

Estimated GHG Offset (CO2eq)

Assumptions

Plant a Tree
How? - Listing of Tree Planting Organizations

1 ton absorbed per tree
(over 50-100 years)
Source

0.2 ton per tree planted

10 years growth of tree w/ 50 year lifetime (discounted due to timing and permanence concerns)

Buy Renewable Electricity for Your Home
How? - Listing of Renewable Energy Retailers

Avg. U.S. Home:
10 tons eliminated per year
1.6 lbs eliminated per kWh purchased
Source 1,Source 2

20 tons

Average home, 100% renewable electricity, purchased for 2 years

Increase Home Energy Efficiency

Electricity: 1.6 lbs eliminated per kWh saved
Gas: 0.1 lb eliminated per cu ft saved (117 lbs per million BTU)
Source

Case by case

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Lighting and Appliances

 

 

 

Install a compact fluorescent light bulb

150 lbs eliminated per year
Source

0.4 tons

Average use for 5 years

Replace 1973 refrigerator with Energy Star refrigerator

1.4 tons eliminated per year
Source

7 tons

Average use for 5 years

Heating and Cooling

 

 

 

Lower thermostat 2 degrees (F) in winter  and raise 2 degrees in summer

1 ton eliminated per year
Source

2 tons

2 years

Caulk and weather strip windows and doors

1,100 lbs eliminated per year (upper estimate)
Source

2.8 tons

10 years (50% discount due to high estimate)

Plant shade tress & paint house light (hot climate) or dark (cold climate) color

2.5 tons eliminated per year (upper estimate)
Source

5 tons

2 years (discount due to long time delay)

Insulate walls and ceilings

140 to 2,100 lbs per year
Saves 20-30% of household heating energy
Source

5.6 tons

10 years, mid-range estimate

Super-insulate walls and ceilings in cold climate

Gas Heating: 5.5 tons eliminated per year
Oil Heating: 8.8 tons/year
Electric Heating: 23 tons/year
Source

55 tons

10 years, gas heat

Modernize windows (replace w/ argon-filled, double-paned)

Gas Heating: 2.4 tons eliminated per year
Oil Heating: 3.9 tons/year
Electric Heating: 9.8 tons/year
Source

24 tons

10 years, gas heat

Water Heating

 

 

 

Wash clothes in warm/cold (not hot) water

Gas Water Heater:
150 lbs eliminated per year
Electric Water Heater:
500 lbs eliminated per year
Source

0.4 tons

5 years, gas heater

Lower water heater 10 degrees (F)

Gas Water Heater:440 lbs eliminated per year
Electric Water Heater: 600 lbs/year
Source

0.4 tons

2 years, gas heater

Install low flow showerhead

Gas Water Heater: 80 lbs eliminated per year
Electric Water Heater: 300 lbs/year
Source

0.2 tons

5 years, gas heater

Wrap water heater in insulating jacket

Gas Water Heater: 220 lbs eliminated per year
Electric Water Heater: 1,100 lbs/year
Source

1.2 tons

10 years, gas heater

Buy a solar water heater

2.5 tons eliminated per year
Source

25 tons

10 years

Increase Transportation Efficiency

 

 

 

Drive more fuel efficient vehicle
Walk, bike, mass transit, or carpool

~20 lbs eliminated per gallon saved
~1 lb eliminated per mile not driven
Source

Case by case

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Keep tires inflated

510 lbs eliminated per year
Increases fuel efficiency 3%
Source1,Source2

0.3 tons

1 year

Fix car air conditioning leaks; ensure fluid recycled when replaced

2.4 tons eliminated per 1 car's fluid not released
Source

None

Not 'additional' because regulatory/legal requirement

Reduce Garbage

 

 

 

Avoid packaging
Recycle more

0.6 ton eliminated per year per 10% reduction in household waste
1.2 ton eliminated per year per 50% of household waste recycled
Source

Case by case

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