A Retiring Attitude: Going Green – My Carbon Footprint

 |  April 1, 2009

Your carbon footprint is the measure of your impact on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases your lifestyle produces. Retiring in itself automatically lowered my carbon footprint. My commute to work went from a 2 hour drive a day to the time it takes to get out of bed and walk or crawl to my computer. I usually leave the car at home now and ride my motorcycle. My gasoline bill has gone from about 100 baht per trip to about 50 baht per week.

My house in Thailand produces far fewer greenhouse gases than my US one did. My old house used thousands of dollars of heating fuel a year. For hot water, instead of heating up a large tank and keeping it hot for 24 hours a day, as is normal in the US, we have an on-demand electric hot water system and my water gets heated only when I need it (about 6 minutes a day). I am now giving solar water heating serious thought.

My clothes here dry in the sun and they dry in about the same time it took using my old electric clothes dryer. In summer I fight off the urge to use my air conditioner as long as I can. For a few weeks I do turn it on at night to get to sleep but usually wind up turning it off when things cool down. Luckily I live in Chiang Mai. If I lived in Bangkok I am sure I would lose this particular fight.

But my real triumph over greenhouse gases is my garden (an oxygen factory) and the 100 plus trees we have planted. Now if there was just a way to get through a day in Thailand without using any plastic bags.

For further information
about retiring to Thailand check out Hugh’s site www.retire2thailand.com.