Use the facts below to create your own strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Indiana.
The IPCC is the largest group of scientists ever assembled in human history.
They warn that we must keep the atmosphere’s temperature from heating by 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. If we do this, we are most likely to avoid catastrophic warming. To accomplish this, our mandate is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% over 2010 levels by 2030.
So, collectively, this is our mandate as Hoosiers. To reduce emissions 45% by 2030. How?
In 2010, the entire United States emitted about 6,938.59m metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents (source). If Indiana’s population represents 2.031% of the total country, then in 2010 Hoosiers emitted about 140.922m metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents (it’s actually higher because our state’s energy is very carbon intensive). Our goal is to reduce our emissions 63.41m metric tonnes by 2030.
Well, let’s break it down into pieces. Into working groups. Each can focus on various low hanging fruit.
The facts on this page will help us spin out diverse plans and strategies.
For example, let’s say you want to help churches use their energy more efficiently. Ray Wilson, a local expert in this field, says it’s relatively easy to help a church reduce energy consumption by 25%. So it’s useful to know that:
- There are about 384,000 churches in the US (source).
- About 329.39m people live in the US (source).
- Therefore, there’s a church for every 859.78 people.
- In 2018, Indiana’s population was about 6.691m (source).
- Therefore, there’s about 7,782 churches in Indiana.
Use these facts to create your own plans. Please contact us if you have facts that would be useful to our wider community.
Also, see this EPA resource of greenhouse gas facts.
1 MMBtu = 293.29 kWh
Global Warming Potentials of Various Greenhouse Gasses
Not all greenhouse gasses are created equally. Some, like HFC-23 used in refrigeration systems, heat the plant 14,800x more than does carbon dioxide. Yikes.
|Gas||Global Warming Potential|
|CO2 (carbon dioxide)||1|
|N2O (nitrous oxide)||298|
Buildings & Cities
Average supermarket emits 1,383 metric tonnes of CO2 per year because of electricity usage (source).
Indiana has 2,024 public schools (source):
- 1,158 elementary schools
- 336 middle schools
- 348 high schools
Indiana public schools have about 1.01m students (source).
Therefore, the average public school in Indiana has 499 students.
Therefore, if students are distributed evenly throughout the grades (they’re not), the average grade K-12 has 77,692 students.
Nationally, K-12 schools spend about $0.67 per square foot on electricity and $0.19 per square food on natural gas (source).
Nationally, the square feet schools provide students is (source):
- 188 for elementary school
- 173.4 for middle school
- 180 for high school
Therefore, each year, all elementary schools in Indiana:
- Have 466,152 students
- Have 87.636m square feet of space
- Spend $58.716m on electricity
- Spend $16.650m on natural gas
Therefore, each year, all middle schools in Indiana:
- Have 233,076 students
- Have 40.415m square feet of space
- Spend $27.078m on electricity
- Spend $7.678m on natural gas
Therefore, each year, all high schools in Indiana:
- Have 310,768 students
- Have 55.938m square feet
- Spend $37.478m on electricity
- Spend $10.628m on natural gas
Therefore, each year, the average elementary school:
- Spends $58,704 on electricity
- Which is about 481,557 kWh
- Which is about 1,643 MMBtu
- Which is about 111,760 kg of CO2
- Which is 111.76 metric tonnes of CO2 (from electricity usage)
Therefore, each year, the average middle school:
- Spends $80,589 on electricity
- Which is about 765,330 kWh
- Which is about 2,609 MMBtu
- Which is about 177,443 kg of CO2
- Which is 177.43 metric tonnes of CO2 (from electricity usage)
Therefore, each year, the average high school:
- Spends $208,211 on electricity
- Which is about 1.977m kWh
- Which is about 6,741 MMBtu
- Which is about 458,444 kg of CO2
- Which is 458.44 metric tonnes of CO2 (from electricity usage)
Colleges & Universities
Average yearly electric bill in Indiana per household is $1,259 (source).
Average yearly gas bill in Indiana per household is $432 (source).
On average, electricity costs $0.1053 per kWh in Indiana (source).
Indiana’s energy supply is one of the most carbon intensive in the US (source).
For every million Btu (MMBtu) our energy plants produce, they release 68 kg of CO2 (source).
Indiana has 870,000 cows (source).
Cows produce between 100 – 500 liters of methane per day (source).
Indiana has 14.7m acres of farmland.
Indiana taxes forest property at a flat rate of $1/acre (source).
In 2017, 17.1% of Indiana is covered by trees (source, 6-109).
Indiana’s trees sequester 430,373 metric tons of carbon per year (source, 6-109).
Beaver Lake used to be the biggest lake in Indiana. It’s been completely drained and no longer exists (source).
In 1857, 27 counties in Indiana grew hemp, about 413 tons total (source).
1 acre of industrial hemp can:
- sequester about 8 metric tonnes of CO2 per year (source).
- yield about 40 gallons of seed oil (source).
- yield about 1,300 pounds of fiber, priced at $70-$180/ton (source).
With 2 acres of industrial hemp, you can make enough hempcrete to build one single-family home (source).
Hempcrete uses three times less heat to create than standard limestone concrete (source).
“In many climates, a 12-foot hempcrete wall will facilitate approximately 60-degrees indoor temperatures year-around without heating or cooling systems…” (source).
In 2019, Indiana’s state seed commissioner licensed 5,300 acres to grow industrial hemp (source).
Average supermarket leaks 25% of its refrigerant per year (source).
When supermarkets participate in the EPA’s GreenChill program, they usually decrease this leakage to about 10% (source). This:
- saves each supermarket about $3,000 per year
- reduces their emissions 630 – 900 metric tons of CO2eq annually
The US has about 35,000 supermarkets (source).
Indiana has about 1,050 supermarkets.
Average supermarket emits 1,556 metric tonnes of CO2eq per year because of refrigerant leakage (source).