Strange but true actions for cutting your CO2 emissions

From farting less to not being a space tourist

Some actions didn't quite make it on to the official list, but they are nevertheless interesting in their own right.

  • Farting less

    Bad manners just got worse. Breaking news shows that the average person lets rip two to three shot glasses of carbon dioxide every 24 hours. (Unless you're a vegetarian, in which case you may need a pint glass.) Concerned? Scientists, stifling giggles, advise a diet low in baked beans, corn-on-the-cob, green peppers, cabbage, milk and raisins.


  • Skip a space flight

    Conscience clear for take-off? Intergalactic spring breaks sound like a blast - but the climate impact of space tourism is giving rocket scientists tropopause for thought. A single NASA shuttle's climate impact can eclipse that of New York in a week - and a space tourism buggy still produces as much CO2 as a business class flight from London to New York.

    Plus, if star treks really take off, yearly emissions from space tourism could trump the weekly emissions of a 500MW power station. Given the gravity of the situation, the carbon conscious may want to limit their moon-walking to Friday nights. (Note: anyone got a spare copy of Lonely Universe?)


  • Composting toilets

    Remember when composting toilets were a conversational taboo, pooh-pooed by mainstream society? Getting rid of 'humanure' using a waterless toilet may not be just a fringe fad much longer as it reduces the climate impact of waste. How?

    By composting it into humus. (Not to be confused for the stuff made out of chickpeas - that's humous.)

    Gristmill: You're only humanure


  • Having one less child

    Looking for an excuse to get out of having another child? Controversial research by the Optimum Population Trust suggests that the single most effective thing a person can do for climate change is to not have that extra baby.

    More people means more carbon emissions. Simple as that. (In fact, a couple that has two kids instead of three could cut their family's climate impact by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.)

    BBC News: Fertility rate at '26 year high'


  • Compost-a-corpse

    Surprisingly, we continue producing CO2, beyond the grave. Our corpses are burnt in furnaces up to five times hotter than an average oven, emitting greenhouse gases and carcinogenic air pollution. Our bodies are 80% carbon, producing around 215kg of CO2 when cremated. Coffins are made from chipboard or tropical hardwood, decomposing slowly alongside a methane-producing corpse as it rots.

    A more climate-friendly way to go is to opt for an 'eco' style 'pod' made from toughened recycled paper and be buried in a woodland or wilderness, with a planted commemorative tree.

    The Natural Death Centre

    Ethical Man Justin Rowlatt: I'll compost your corpse


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