CO2 Share of a Bottle of Beer: 1 Beer = 6250 Tweets

Recently there was a report on CO2 contribution of a single tweet

Twitter developer recently gave a talk at Chirp entitled “Energy/Tweet,” where he claimed that a tweet consumes approximately 100 joules of energy (0.02 grams of CO2 emissions)

Note that this (and my calculation below) is CO2 allocation and not true incremental CO2 cost computation. CO2 emissions from the data center, network, tweep’s computer are all sunk. If they are not tweeting what other activity could they be doing – compared to that the incremental contribution to CO2 from a single tweet could be much lower.

How does this compare to a bottle of beer?

I used the data from New Belgium Brewery, it produces 330,000 barrels of beer a year and according to their data this process produces about 5000 metric tonnes of CO2.

(1 beer barrel is 31 gallons, 1 gallon is 128 ounces, and 1 bottle is 12 ounces)

If I can do a simple cost allocation and distribute the 5000 metric tonnes across 109.12 million bottles of beer, it is about 46 grams of CO2 per bottle. This is just manufacturing alone. If we can triple this for refrigeration, shipping and retail sales, it is about 125 grams per bottle.

So 1 bottle of beer is equivalent to 6250 tweets for CO2. I am not sure about the buzz (no pun) equivalence between a tweet and beer.

Compare this to EPA numbers on driving a car. On the average 12,000 miles add 12,100 pounds of CO2, converting to metric units, it is about 450 grams per mile.

If you want to find the CO2 impact of your meals check out the LowCarbon Meals calculator that Siel of LA Times points out.

Posted in CO2