• By Cliff Mail

Some (very early) observations on the data collected so far.

The first observation was that a lot of the records did appear to be incomplete. Owners of the household data should review the emissions and sequestration base data that they entered to ensure that it is as complete and accurate as possible. Missing data or over or understating any of your data not only results in an inaccurate net footprint for the household but can also distort community and overall averages. A common missing element was the size of the property while nearly 50 records had no data at all.

If you started the calculator but have not got around to finishing it, we really need you to do that. With more data we can provide better insights and guidance to you in your efforts to calculating and reducing your footprint.

Putting aside the questionable data, it was noted that the majority of the initial entries, especially in the Kerikeri area, are from households on larger (than an average urban section) property sizes. Over half of the population of the greater Kerikeri area live outside the town's reticulated sewage catchment and are required to have a larger minimum land area for sewage treatment purposes. These larger properties have scope for larger trees and, as a result, carbon sequestration is high with over 50% of the Kerikeri households that have completed the calculations being net sequesters. There is probably also an element of these 'foundation' participants being associated with community environmental activity so we would expect this earlier data to be more skewed towards a lower net carbon footprint. This will even out as the number of households grow. Don't hang up your planting tools just yet. We can always do better and by doing a little more we will help to compensate for the millions of urban dwellers in the World who do not have the same opportunities to sequester carbon.

Despite our sequestering performance, average emissions are quite high with travel, food and transport standing out. Which leads to the next article on how you can plan to reduce your emissions.

It is hard to spot the dwellings amongst the trees when looking toward the Kerikeri CBD from an outlying vantage point. All those trees mean higher levels of carbon sequestration.

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