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Fun Ways to Decrease Your Carbon Footprint

Updated on December 13, 2009

Fun Ways to Decrease Your Carbon Footprint

If you're still alive, here are some fun and interesting ways to decrease your Carbon Footprint.

Don't Exhale into the Environment


Buy a bunch of balloons and carry them around in your purse. According to the Repository of All Knowledge, Wikipedia, the average human lung has a maximum volume of about 6 liters. We humans don't use the entire volume at every breath because it requires minimal effort to sit on our couch and watch Oprah sit on her couch. We breath about 9 to 15 times a minute, exhaling and inhaling about 500 mL if we are a male and 390 mL if we are not a male.

Public school math and a scientific notation calculator tells us that the average human exhales about 5340 mL per minute: ((500+390) / 2 ) * 12. Therefore we need a supply of balloons that accommodate 320400 mL per hour. Since 1000 mL = 1 liter; that translates to 302 liters per hour.

One cubic meter equals 1 liter. This all works out to .302 cubic meters per hour of exhaled gasses from an average human.

Ergo, we need a balloon that can contain .302 cubic meters for each hour we plan to be breathing.

The volume of a spherical balloon is 4/3 (pi) r 3 where r represents the radius of the sphere.

Solving for r in the equation .302 = 4/3 (pi) r 3 :

r = .416 meters.

We exhale enough gasses to inflate a .208 meter diameter spherical balloon every hour.

Obtaining the equipment

Our friends at US Balloon offer a 16" round latex balloon. US Balloon thoughtfully provides numerous pleasing colors, but the obvious choice for our carbon-footprint-reducing enclosure is green. 50 balloons will set us back about $13; certainly a small price to pay for saving the environment.

Converting SAE to metric, we observe that 8 inches (the radius of a 16 inch diameter balloon) is .2032 meters. This balloon will hold .0351 cubic meters of exhalation.

In our exhalation calculation we observed that .302 cubic meters per hour will be exhaled. Therefore we require about 10 of the 16" balloons per hour to encapsulate exhalation.

Given that 10 balloons per hour will be consumed, we need 240 balloons per day. Assuming a a minimum order increment of 50 balloons from US Balloons, we round up to a 250 balloon order and our daily cost for carbon exhalation sequestration ciphers out to 5 X $13 = $65.

Disposing of the Excess Carbon Pollution

While we have derived a workable technology for sequestering our polluting carbon exhalations, the question is begged: how do we dispose of the captured gasses? The issue of disposal will be addressed in part 2 of this series.

Thank you for your interest.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @cjv123: breathe! please!

    • cjv123 profile image

      Carol 8 years ago from Michigan

      This is a rip -- I think though - I'll just hold my breath so I can save the earth...

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I couldn't find the permeability constants for latex but I do know latex condums have a substantial leakage problem, and are also subject to breakage(8D)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • Carol the Writer profile image

      Carolyn Blacknall 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great hub! They should stop all PE classes and have people lie around, breathing slowly. You should get a prize for this! - Carol

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Tom Whitworth: Please provide permeability constants for latex balloons and I will update my calculations.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      You also have to account for the contingency of balloon leakage 8D