Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My European Carbon Footprint

At this nifty website, the per capita carbon footprints of different countries can be compared. It shows that the carbon footprint of the average American (that is, a resident of the USA) is about two-and-a-half times larger than the carbon footprint of the average Spaniard.  As a visiting professor in Granada, Spain, I am experiencing this difference first-hand. I have rented a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath apartment in the center of the city.  It is one of the nicer apartments I saw during a week of apartment hunting – not luxurious but comfortable and relatively well-equipped.  Unlike several others I looked at, it has a dishwasher, a central heating system, and an air-conditioning unit in the living room. But consider what it doesn’t have:

- an elevator (and I’m on the fifth floor!)
- a bathtub
- much space (there are about 800 or 900 sq.ft.)
- a hot-water feed to the washing machine
- a clothes dryer

Also, there is no garage, and street parking is very hard to come by. On the other hand, consider the services I have within three blocks of my apartment (and this isn't even a complete tally): a grocery store; two bread and pastry shops; two fruit and veggie stores; a wine and cheese shop; a frozen foods specialty store; at least ten restaurants; a bank; a hotel; a health clinic; a pharmacy; a taxi stand; an elementary school; a school supplies store; and a public square with a playground.  See the pics below taken from my porch, with the well-constructed clothesline front and center!

What a change from SoCal!

- Lesley McAllister

IMG_0799Campo del principe




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