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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

My Skydiving Footprint

Online CO2 emissions calculator

CO2 emissions by number of jumps
CO2 emissions by number of jumps

Calculate yours at MySkydivingFootprint __

My Skydiving Footprint

Recently there have been many discussions about our environmental footprint as skydivers in our community.

In April this year, Bryan Burke wrote an article for Dropzone.com titled “How Green is My Skydive” in which he explored CO2 emissions from skydiving activities based on data for the Twin Otters at Skydive Arizona, comparing those to emissions from other sectors like transport and energy generation. Subsequently, our environmental footprint was a hot topic at events like Angleweek with its 2018 motto of “Planet Earth” and Alex Aimard’s event video summing up the concerns and ideas raised during the event, as well as Tora Tora’s Paradise Portugal with their conscious raffle in which you could only earn your tickets by making environmental-positive commitments.

Screenshot from Alex Aimard's 'Planet skydive' — by Lesley Gale
Screenshot from Alex Aimard's 'Planet skydive' — by Lesley Gale

Online Co2 calculator

These initiatives and their respective aspects were frequently discussed on social media, often fueled by emotions rather than facts. In order to provide a better foundation for discussions regarding pollution from skydiving, My Skydiving Footprint was created: an online calculator to easily assess your CO2 emissions from skydiving activity based on data acquired by Skydive Flanders for a Supervan. It also compares skydiving emissions to those from driving a car or a transatlantic flight and informs about footprint reduction through dietary changes. As an example, here are some figures:

  • Driving your car for 30.000km equals 398 skydives
  • One transatlantic flight (AMS-ORD) equals 288 skydives
  • Going vegan for a year compensates 176 skydives
  • Going vegetarian for a year compensates 138 skydives
  • A skydiver with 250 jumps and 5h of tunnel yearly emits 45.7% more CO2 than the average European citizen
  • A vegan skydiver with 250 jumps and 5h of tunnel a year still emits 21.2% more CO2 than the average European citizen

All the data on the site has been carefully researched using only official sources or peer-reviewed scientific articles, which are all referred to in the footnotes.

Skydance Grand Supervan — by Paul Tozer
Skydance Grand Supervan — by Paul Tozer

Supervan

The Supervan, which serves as baseline for My Skydiving Footprint, is one of the most efficient airplanes out there. Thus, emissions from other planes are often considerably higher: a Skyvan can easily produce 183% of the CO2 of a Supervan, calculated per skydiver. For this reason, a comparative table with the most frequently used aircraft is also included and referred to on the site. Similarly, an ISG tunnel was used as baseline model for energy consumption. Other builds, especially air-conditioned or larger than 14.2ft models, consume significantly more energy and thus also have a higher carbon footprint.

Awareness

The first step of making a change is becoming aware, and this is the prime purpose of My Skydiving Footprint. It is everybody’s personal choice whether and how they want to reduce their emissions, but at the very least we should realise that skydiving is a highly polluting activity and that it might be wise to work out some ways of reducing those emissions so that we can continue to practice our sport sustainably and with a clear conscience for a long time to come.

This article was originally published on @lesleygale

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