FIRST and foremost this isn’t a post on whether or not climate change is real, it’s not about denying or being an alarmist. I’m not claiming to be any of these things or trying to push any agenda on anyone!
The truth is there’s more and more awareness (however you want to make of that word) and I’d like to put some thought into my own “impact” with my foxbody. The situation I’d like to be in is to able to say “hey bro, my foxbody is carbon neutral so shove that up your Prius!”
Calculating “Foot Print”
Using online calculators, my notch produces 0.383 tons of CO2e based on how much I drive it and all SMOG equipment in working order. I’d guess most foxbody owners produce between 1/2 ton to 2 tons a year of CO2e for a mild build and reserved for fair-weather driving (and winter stored).
Here are some approximate numbers:
For an average of 21MPG
For every 1000 miles = 0.410 tons (or 800 pounds – 0.36mT)
For an average of 16MPG
For every 1000 miles = 0.558 tons (or 1116 pounds – 0.50mT)
Planting Trees to Offset
Or if you want a general rule for number of trees to plant: To offset a ton of CO2 you would have to plant 1 successful tree each year. It takes about 40 years for that single tree to absorb a ton of CO2 and not all trees will survive, it’s recommend to plant 5 trees to ensure at least one survives over 40 years. The cost of planting trees through charitable organizations ranges between $1 to $20 each.
In my case, planting 5 trees a year would actually not just offset but be positive in terms of CO2 absorption and can cost as little as 5 bucks a year.
A list of tree planting organizations:
Buying Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are a form of trade. When you buy an offset, you fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The projects might restore forests, update power plants and factories or increase the energy efficiency of buildings and transportation. Carbon offsets let you pay to reduce the global gas emissions total instead of quitting the hobby. Offset costs would be between 5 and 30 dollars per ton of CO2.
A list of carbon offset organizations:
SMOG Stuff and Mod Responsibly
For most people, removing SMOG and cats gives absolutely ZERO benefit in terms of performance. It only makes your exhaust smell like crap and empowers people to fight the hobby and gain traction and ultimately makes us all look bad (to people who don’t get the hobby). So leave the crap on your car, make sure it’s running (no codes).
You could also argue that gaining power through more efficient means such as a Coyote swap which will provide more power and use less fuel in the process and selecting the right gear for your style of driving and setup to get the most bang for your buck (through efficiency).
I tried to stay away from debate in this post and did not get into all the hard details for any side of the argument. My goal was to present a thought-experiment of sorts and to highlight that our hobby can be slightly more environmentally conscious – if you’re into that sort of thing.