Carbon Offsetting [Serious Question]

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Osprey!, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Cheshire

    Cheshire Been here awhile

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    The way I see it, being mindful of your carbon footprint is just another aspect of "Leave No Trace" expanded on a more world-view level.
    I originally got into motorcycling because I wasn't able to continue riding bicycles. Part of that equation is fuel consumption: the car that fits my cargo-hauling needs gets 17-24 mpg. My bikes over the years get 47-75 mpg. Several years ago, I learned about the emissions downside and, while it's getting better with Euro-3 and 4 and upcoming 5...it's still something I want to address in my planning.
    Giving up transportation and riding isn't a reasonable, realistic alternative. I can look for things I can do to balance the scales and minimize my impact.
    I can't do much, but I do what I can.
    If nothing else, this thread got my gears turning about the topic and things to incorporate into my trip planning to bring my own values better in line with the things I do (motorcycling and sating my wanderlust) to enjoy the fact that I'm still breathing instead of resenting it.
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  2. johngault

    johngault Leaning into it Supporter

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    F) in most cased F does not have a significant reduction in carbon emission. For most people grid power is gas or coal. You need to look at the well to wheel analysis of any energy system you are using to really understand the impact. The net impact of an electric car where I live is that more coal will be combusted.
    If you generate your own power or have exclusive renewable power then F would reduce C02. of course YMMV.
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  3. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie Supporter

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    Here's an interesting article about how the music touring industry has started to address their carbon footprint. It's a long article, but an interesting one. They're basically reaching the same conclusions: there is no perfect solution and doing nothing isn't an acceptable option. Musicians are reducing tours, planning tour routes for efficiency, asking fans to help, and they're investing in offsets.

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-day-the-music-became-carbon-neutral
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  4. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    And it's all just because counting carbon dioxide happens to be rather popular at the moment. Hilarious how easily folks are swayed.
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  5. SpencerR

    SpencerR ShiftGearsChugBeers

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    Every breath you take results in carbon production. So I guess we should just kill ourselves
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  6. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie Supporter

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    Reminder: Don't feed the trolls.

    This thread is to discuss offsets and other ways to mitigate the impact of our passion for riding.
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  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Keeping it serious, and some minor ruminations:

    If you're talking about traveling yourself on a motorcycle, ride a clean running bike. So a semi-modern fuel injected machine, kept in good tune, no larger than necessary.

    If you're also talking about planet travel, I honestly don't know the difference between plane travel and ship travel. Though I would suspect passage on commercial cargo ships might have the lowest carbon footprint for your inclusion.

    While bivouacking and washing in the creek would have the lowest carbon footprint as a place to stay, that may not be so viable. You may need a campground, or a hostel/hotel. To that end, a shorter cooler shower. Not running the air conditioning if opening the window would suffice. If you're staying for several nights, not having all the sheets and towels washed each night. All things that would reduce energy consumption.

    Eating local produce where possible. That way it's not to transported, not so processed, all of which takes energy. So picking up fruits from the local farm/market to carry and eat, instead of stopping at McDonalds and the like.

    As for your own campstove or campfire, won't argue that the propane can isn't the cleanest burn. Just not so sure about the carbon cycle (for the wood campfire), or the processing emissions (bottled propane vs liquid gasoline from your bikes tank).
    #47
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  8. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    Create more CO2, if it falls to 150ppm everything on earth dies, all plants all animals
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  9. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    It's all very tricky though.

    Yes, traveling by ship instead of plane would have a lower carbon footprint, even allowing for extra days worth of food and all the rest (crew) that goes along with it. Planes are probably our worst offenders.

    Driving your dino-powered car with the windows down may use more fuel than with the air conditioner running due to increased drag. Cars are pretty aerodynamic these days to get their mileage numbers up. If you can use a whole house fan instead of an air conditioner, you are reducing your footprint.

    Eating local and eating lower on the pyramid helps. I don't mean eating nothing but plates of kale for every meal (like my son did briefly), but fish or chicken instead of beef. Hand-picked over machine picked is another tricky one, as all those pickers have to live and eat as well. But if you assume they will exist and consume anyway then hand-picked produce generally has a lower footprint.

    Propane, butane or gasoline stoves all have carbon footprints, but their use is intermittent. Wood fires and charcoal are renewables and fires effectively have 0 carbon footprint since they grew by extracting C02 from the air. The indirect carbon footprint associated with them is in their transportation (unless you are pickup up downed wood by the side of the road).

    I ran across an interesting one recently. After putting PV solar on my house, I was looking at what natural gas appliances I could replace cost effectively. I had wanted to put solar hot water panels on my roof, but it just isn't cost effective here. So I looked into electric hot water and found that with normal resistive-type heaters I was looking at needing about 4,000 kWh of power annually. Again not cost effective. But there are now available hot water heaters that are actually heat pumps and would use about 1,100 kWh annually. They cost about 2-3 times what a good gas water heater costs. I need to look more into reliability, but technology is evolving everywhere.
    #49
  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Indeed. Our vast forests consume more carbon than we could ever possibly produce. This is the largest wealth transfer in history.
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  11. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    On our trip thru the Americas we met "green" folks from Canada and they were very environement conscious.

    They considered riding a motorcycle but in the end they decided to pedal bike the world.

    Their rules: pedal power, no flying home during the trip and no friends/family flying to come see them.

    They were having a blast, they were is amazing shape.

    Good on them.
    #51
  12. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

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    If you send me $100 a day for an offset I will park my V8 4x4 and ride my Honda Forza 300 except if it is raining.
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  13. Stabilo_Boss

    Stabilo_Boss Adventurer

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    @Osprey! I admire your ability to stay composed in the face of such obtuse replies. I too have thought long and hard about the potential environmental impact of a long motorbike trip. As suggested above, a modern EFI bike that is at least Euro4 compliant will go a long way to reduce CO2 and other noxious particles. I am not sure that there is much difference in real world consumption between a modern 250cc bike as compared to a 500cc or 700cc (But I'm willing to be proven wrong on that). For the kinds of trips I would like to do, an electric bike is not an option quite yet, but hopefully they are not far off.

    Unfortunately the best way to reduce carbon are:
    - Become vegetarian
    - Reduce Air travel
    - Stop using a combustion engine vehicle
    - Have few children

    Source

    That last one hopefully should not be a problem while riding around the world on a bike. Becoming a vegetarian is crucial to limiting your production of greenhouse gases and is probably the biggest change you can make.

    I was thinking about bringing a solar cooker for my travels, but can't get around the issue surrounding crepuscular cooking.

    Let me know what kinds of solutions you find.
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  14. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    A catalysator actually create CO2 when getting rid of carbon monoxide and hyrdocarbons :deal
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  15. Stabilo_Boss

    Stabilo_Boss Adventurer

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    Yes you are right, but more importantly engines with catalytic converters needs to run at the stoichiometric air-fuel mixture which in turn means that you are actually producing around 10% more CO2 just from the engine. This is before considering the effect of having the extra weight and flow obstruction in the exhaust.

    Even after all this I still wholeheartedly think that catalytic converters are a good addition to any combustion engine. Why? Because Carbon monoxide and Nitrogen oxides are rather dangerous.
    #55
  16. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

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    If you kill all of the people then the volcanoes will still create pollution.

    Forget about it.
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  17. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    Yeah, the catalysators definitely help to weed out plenty of bad stuff from an engine - but at a cost.
    I too think they are beneficial, I'm just a bit concerned the debate goes around CO2 as if there's nothing else to worry about.

    Here they used to worry about CO2 emissions (petrol cars), and thus there was a big push for diesel engines in order to cut down on that... fast forward a few years and the "environmentally friendly" diesel cars are now considered bad guys due to the amount of Nox particles, and now we're back to favoring petrol engines again - with the side effect of increasing CO2 levels. Awesome politics :lol3
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  18. Stabilo_Boss

    Stabilo_Boss Adventurer

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    Yeah that whole diesel debacle was quite unsettling.
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  19. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    So, you want to both emit carbon and buy clear conscience? It's a good business widely abused by the Church through selling indulgence but it does require some serious self delusion capacity - do you have that? If you do, why don't you just make yourself believe that your bike has zero environmental impact. You don't owe yourself a rational explanation on how is that possible - you just need to believe - works perfect for the Tesla cult. They are actually on the next level already - they are trying to convince other people.
    #59
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  20. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie Supporter

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    Reminder, don't feed the trolls.
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