Apparently I am carbon neutral, according to Dopplr. They have tracked almost all of my journeys since 2008. I have taken a few journeys recently to sensitive places and I havent told Dopplr but I dont think they would add much to the total.
How did we do it, despite traveling so much? Not sure, really, but heres some factors that might contribute to it.
I sold my car in April last year for a whopping £600 which was fair for a 1997 Peugeot 806 with a few dents. We bought bikes for the family which takes a little longer to get around but its good for fitness and keeps the carbon down. Of course we take the bus most of the time when we are in one place, and that can be very time-consuming, but it seems right for now.
We normally carry 7 bikes on the back but recently, with the extra people, we have carried 2 extra bikes inside.
Our 1987 4×4 Iveco motorhome/overlander gets 14 MPG (about 20 litres/100km) which is a little worse than most motorhomes but better than most overlanders, but we have 7 people in it whenever we drive. Dopplr doesnt take that into consideration but I feel if you are going to drive, load up your vehicle with as many people as you can. And besides that, our total milage is probably much less than for those people who drive daily to work.
Our biggest savings in fuel last year was probably not automotive at all but rather in heating. Having left our apartment in March 2008, we dont have to heat it, or anything. Our motorhome is well insulated and since we have driven south to warmer climes, we havent spent anything at all on heating. Going south for the winter isn’t just for the birds. It works for humans also. Although we are looking for a wood stove for our motorhome which is a cheap and efficient way to heat it when its gets cold, which it does occasionally.
We just added two solar panels of 225W each which means can can now fully charge up our leisure batteries every day and not have to use the engine.
We added mostly hand powered appliances to our motorhome – a hand cranking coffee grinder, a mangle for wringing out our clothes (which we hand wash) and even a foot pump for the water rather than electric pump.
Abigail gets cranky doing the washing.
I also reduced a lot of carbon, and saved some money and time, by turning down a number of conferences that had me flying a really long distance to contribute and then flying all the way home. What a waste! Instead, we set up events where we were, or where we were going to be along our travel circuit. That meant that I missed out on a few biggies but I spent more time with the family, and supported events that were more local. And those events that we took part in along the way were generally more relational and low-key rather than flashy, stage-centered and shallow.
As for the rest of 2010, here is the map that we are following. We are hooking up with missional entrepreneurs along the way. Let me know if we are coming through your town. Appreciate your prayers for safety as we travel, and for the other half of our support/sponsorship that we are still hoping for.
My current schedule:
Friday (today) Orkney Islands, UK
Saturday – Aberdeen, Scotland
Sunday – London
Monday – Oxford, with CMS
Tuesday – London
Wednesday – North Africa
Follow me on Dopplr, although take note that my North Africa schedule is not publicized there.