Could buying and drinking only local wines reduce the amount of fossil fuels you burn? One Aspen columnist says yes. It's all about the carbon footprint, or the amount of diesel and gasoline consumed to get a person or object from Point A to Point B; or the amount of coal burned in a power plant to heat your home, etc. In the case of Colorado wines, logic dictates that the shorter the distance your vino travels, fewer fossil fuels end up getting burned before you pour your wine into your glass.
The article also includes this little gem, which we heartily applaud:
"Each bottle of imported French wine in their cellars produces 6.2 pounds of carbon because of overseas shipping. By comparison, a Napa wine produces 5.5 pounds, and a Colorado-brewed New Belgian 12-oz. beer produces 1.8 pounds. Local wines from Colorado are carbon-friendly compared to a French Bordeaux – and buying them helps the local economy."
Under the headline, "Counting Carbon," Fair Game Columnist writes for the Aspen Times:
"If you’ve ever wondered how much carbon you’re putting into the atmosphere, there’s an easy way to find out. The “Carbon Footprint Counter,” a handy, pocket-sized card produced by the Sopris Foundation, allows a running tally of your personal emissions."
"The Sopris Foundation is a visionary local family foundation. It is distributing the Footprint Counter Card as a tool for awareness of our collective carbon footprint. Don’t look at it as a guilt trip, but rather as an accounting method whose time has finally come."
"The Footprint Card reveals that the average Aspenite adds more carbon to the atmosphere per day (280 pounds) than the average American (144 pounds), and far more than the average German (47 pounds). It’s simple to figure out which lifestyle choices produce carbon and which don’t, and the Footprint Card is an easy way to remember."
"For example, according to the Footprint Counter, flying on a private jet produces 3.4 tons of carbon per hour. By comparison, a commercial flight from Aspen to New York produces 0.3 pounds of carbon per person per passenger mile, which is roughly 500 pounds for the trip, or about 200 pounds per hour of flying."
"Those with snowmelt systems on their homes swell their carbon footprints enormously. The Footprint Counter says a heated driveway produces 6 tons of carbon over the course of a winter. Shoveling snow by hand produces zero carbon, unless you count the carbon it takes to make a plastic push scoop. It’s also great exercise."
"Aspen’s biggest carbon producers skew the average for the rest of us because of huge homes and sumptuous lifestyles."
You can read the rest of the column here.