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Running dangerous for the environment? (Read 794 times)

BLinn

So, this question is about running but its not really like most questions anyhow.... Does anyone know of a formula to calculate how much CO2 emissions is released from the human body when running? Just thought it would be interesting to compare it to the standards laid forward by the US and the EU. Recently the EU proposed a maximum CO2-emission from cars of 120g pr.km Looking forward to anything! BR/ Bo
Best Regards Bo
well, i have no idea how accurate this is, but according to a website that I found, the average person will produce 45 liters of co2 /hr of exercise... therefore, you divide 45 by 22.4 to get the number of moles of co2 (about 2 moles), then multiply it by the molecular mass of co2 (44g/mol), and you get about 88 grams of co2/hr. of course it will change with how fast you're running, but that's significantly less than driving. (let me know if my chem. is wrong... there's a good possibility that it is.)
I've been known to release some methane when I run, but it propels me forward so I consider it energy efficient.
How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

Has been

Here's another interesting question to consider--how much CO2 is emitted in the production of the food you eat? There is a certain amount of CO2 which is emitted for every calorie of food produced (it varies depending on what food is being produced obviously). There was a study done, I believe in the UK, that found that it can actually be better for the environment to drive to the store versus walking, because the amount of CO2 emitted in the production of the food you would eat to replace the calories you burned off walking there would be more than the CO2 released by your car. I'm not sure I buy that whole argument, but it is interesting nonetheless. In the end, it just makes my head spin I think...

"I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong."--Bertrand Russell

My opinion: There are many things that are "dangerous" for and to the "environment" (what this word means is also very vague) besides the production of CO2 and global warming. Any intelligent discussion of the benefits or dangers of running to the environment would have to define what is meant by "the environment" and take into account the multiplicity of reactions and interactions we have with it. Otherwise, we risk producing a lot of ideological squabbling dressed up as intelligent discussion.

Has been

My opinion: There are many things that are "dangerous" for and to the "environment" (what this word means is also very vague) besides the production of CO2 and global warming. Any intelligent discussion of the benefits or dangers of running to the environment would have to define what is meant by "the environment" and take into account the multiplicity of reactions and interactions we have with it. Otherwise, we risk producing a lot of ideological squabbling dressed up as intelligent discussion.
I agree...my comments were merely meant to emphasize the fact that there really is no clear right or wrong on this issue. We like black and white answers to questions that are, by definition, gray.

"I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong."--Bertrand Russell

My car is pretty fuel efficienct compared to most and it still burns about 1000 kcal of fuel per mile driven. My body is also more efficient than most and it burns about 120 kcal of energy per mile run.

Runners run.

The Year of the Monkey

Mikey, you need to divide these values by the vehicle weight. You will find that your car is more efficient than you are. This is a very fascinating conversation...I cannot even begin to touch on the topic or I will spend all day...so much to say, so much to say...
Well...if my only goal is to move myself 1 mile then how does the vehicle's weight make it more efficient? Yeah. This is probably not a productive topic...

Runners run.

I agree...my comments were merely meant to emphasize the fact that there really is no clear right or wrong on this issue. We like black and white answers to questions that are, by definition, gray.
Yeah. My comments weren't directed at yours or anyone's response. Just at the framing of the original question and my fears about the possible directions that discussion could go.

Agony of Da Feet (#2867)

I actually read a discussion about this somewhere not too long ago; I think it was about bicycles and not running, but the same concept applies. Basically, the person calculated how "green" commuting by bicycle instead of by car was, taking into account all of the energy required to manufacture and ship the bike parts vs the vehicle parts, maintenance, daily commute "pollution", fuel required for both the rider and the vehicle, etc etc. I'll see if I can find the article or forum thread or whatever it was; it was pretty interesting. I do recall that commuting by bike wound up being much better for the environment than driving the car.

Run to Win
24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

(wow, been a while since that's been updated...)

BLinn

Dear all Even though I might not have gotten the complete answer to the question it has been good fun following the thread. I might concede that Jacob's suggestion is quite good. say a car produces 120g/km that might be equal to 100kg /hour and a human produces less than 100g/hour - sounds reasonable? The question of whether there are less co2 emissions involved when driving to the shop to get your food is all down to your choice of food. Ready meals for instance are supposed to be really bad as they road from earth to table are longer than other products. Please keep the discussion going.... Thank you guys!
Best Regards Bo