280 Billion Balloons of CO2e = 1 World Cup
For our first lab experiment, we decided to demonstrate what an event carbon footprint really looks like, and how easy it is to produce carbon dioxide from simple activities.
In our test run for the experiment, we used 1 cup of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda and were able to easily fill a balloon from the carbon dioxide created. Perhaps we were bitten by the Hollywood bug, because for this version, we decided to double the ingredients, perhaps a bit unnecessarily.
To fully inflate a party balloon (about 1 cubic foot of volume), you need about 10 grams of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). To help to provide some perspective for the carbon footprint of some typical meeting and event activities:
- A night in an average hotel = 2,650 balloons. This is for a hotel with some “green” credentials, estimated as producing about 24 kilograms, or 53 pounds of CO2e.
- An air flight from Vancouver to Rome, return, = 300,000 balloons. This flight would produce just over three tonnes of CO2e, per person, economy class.
- A mega event, like The World Cup = 280 billion balloons. The 2010 World Cup is been estimated to have generated about 2.8 million tons of CO2e, including all of the air travel and accommodation of teams and fans. This is the same volume of about 3,181,818 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
We hope you enjoy our first lab experiment!