How Many Miles, How Big a House: Eco by the Numbers

by Ivory Soap on 11/27/2009

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I’ve been talking off and on about going green based on the site www.lowimpactliving.com that I ran across a while back.  Fabu!  For this edition, I’ll just hit you with the numbers, or RATES of usage and how many points that equals.

As a refresher, lets say the average American household has a score of 100.  And LOW impact starts at 70.

ONE point change is:

  • 1000 miles a conventional vehicle
  • Replacing 1 car with hybrid (at 10000 miles/year)
  • 20 hours on a commercial flight
  • 200 square feet of house (LITTLE house in the suburbs…what-WHAT!?)
  • 5 loads/week in the dishwasher
  • 1.5 loads/week in the clothes washer
  • Replacing dishwasher(at 5 loads/wk) AND clothes washer (at 7 loads/wk) with energy star
  • Changing all indoor bulbs in 1000 sq ft of house to CFL
  • Changing from poor insulation to good insulation in a 1000 sq ft house

Did you see that????  Those expensive appliances only change your score ONE POINT!  And did you see the flight numbers?  We all feel SO BAD about flying, but it’s MASS TRANSPORTATION.   Flying commercial for 10,000 miles is the same impact as driving one car 1000 miles?  WOW.  It only starts to balance out if you up the number of people in your car.  The impact of ten people flying 1000 miles versus one car containing ten people driving 1000 miles–that’s even.   But if it’s just you, remember mass transportation is always better than driving your car.

Ivory



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Sirk November 27, 2009 at 9:35 am

Thanks for posting this. I use these calculators to keep track of our progress. This one is the most thorough of all that I’ve seen. BUT I wish they asked more questions about water usage. Our LILI score was 48 but they estimated that we used over 25,000 gals of water per year. I’ve worked to get our water use down and we acutally use about 12,000 a year at most. In the past I’ve had us down to 12 gals/person/day but that required some monitoring that I don’t have time for right now. Now I just need a new fridge.

Granola Girl November 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm

We started using the rain water we collect to wash our clothes. OMG! Do you know how much water one load of laundry uses?! Our water bill has plummeted and our househould only did 3 loads of laundry a week. I know I was amazed.

Sherri November 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Wow! I did mine and I’m at 59! Pretty darn tasty I figger! I’d like it to be even a little lower, but right now I do have two old cars. Changing out the worse one, for a 7 year better one, much more cleaner and all that stuff. And I want to do more recycling and such, but still I think 59 is pretty good. If Low starts at 70… that’s not bad. Thanks for sharing this! Neat!

Kathy November 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I wish they would let us put grey water into the yard. It’s illegal here. I could really use it in the summer to water plants. And lesson learned – rain barrels only help if it rains in the summer. We don’t get rain here in Vancouver, WA all summer long. The rest of the year it pours down and rain barrels would be a joke.

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