Is CCC Carbon Neutral?

What does Carbon Neutrality mean? Does our management plan demonstrate that

for the Carbon released due to our activities of building and operating that we have

the capacity to hold an equal amount on the property? Are we accountable for our

actions on that metric?

Since we started building Cottonwood Creek Community [CCC] in 1991,we have

observed our impact on the environment. Our building plans, land use and

landscaping has been done carefully to pay attention and accommodate the use of

resources. Each decision we have made has been to reduce the impact of our

activities on the environment!

Thirty years ago [CO2 global tally at 350 ppm] there was not much concern for the

accumulation of carbon dioxide [C02] in the atmosphere or in the plants and soils.

At 2428 Ymir Road we strived to keep a tally of the C02 we released due to our

activity and then calculate what we could store on site. First we set aside a Reparian

Eco. Zone habitat, 35 feet wide along Cottonwood Creek, the length of the property.

Then we began to keep track of how much impact our construction and operations

would have on the present global C02 tally [today at 420 ppm and still counting] and

thus the local community.

We are investing for what is good for People and the Earth. We are:

- cause based
- socially responsible
- sustainable

I. The tasks we have undertaken:

- We remodeled the original [1940] residence on the property. It takes

approximately 20 trees [assumed to be each 30 years old] to construct a

1200 square foot house. We did not destroy the structure thus maintaining

[20 trees x 1400 lbs CO2 per tree] = 28,000 pounds [lbs] of saved [STORED]

sequestered C02, or 3.9 tons of Carbon, plus maintaining the metal roof [a

labour saving]. - We paid attention to the amount of concrete used for:

a] the pouring of the basement for the Tower … 45 cubic yards

b] the Sewage Treatment tank for 9 residential units … 25 cubic yards

c] the Barrier Free access ramp … 5 cubic yards

All the cement usage was required by code.

These improvements totaled an estimated 75 cubic yard of concrete.

The Facts about the TASKS

The amount of CO2 that was released into the atmosphere during the manufacturing

of this concrete can be calculated as follows.

Fact 1. The production of CEMENT contributed 400 pounds of CO2 per cubic yard

of cement [with a cubic yard of cement weighting 2538 lbs.].

Fact 2. The CO2 factor for the production of 1 cubic yard of CONCRETE [3800 lbs]

requires:

- cement which is 10% of the mix approximately, with other materials making up

the 90%. The other ingredients require very low energy to mine and process in

comparison to the cement. - every cubic yard of concrete requires 380 lbs of cement

-every 380 lbs of cement is 15% of a cubic yard of cement

-to find the CO2 in a cubic yard of cement is 15% of 400 lbs which equals 60lbs of

CO2/cubic yard for the cubic yard of concrete mix

Thus with the cement in the material mix of 1 cubic yard of concrete [3800 lbs] this

yields 60 lbs of CO2/cubic yard contributed into the atmosphere [plus site prep, and

transport which is minimal].

The basement for the Tower, the Sewage Treatment tank and the Barrier Free Ramp

resulted in the use of 75 cubic yards of concrete. At 60 lbs CO2 per yard [75 x60]

yields 4500 lbs of CO2 released into the atmosphere, for the completion of the

construction of the required finishing components for CCC. [CO2 released into the

atmosphere due to aging is not considered here].

Total: 4,500 lbs CO2 released

- Asphalt for the drive way; contributes ½ the CO2 that concrete yields per

square foot. We have 3100 sq. ft of pavement [1/2 of which was required by

code], there are 108 sq. ft. per cubic yard of concrete.; or a contribution of

60lbs of CO2 per sq yd or .6 lb per sq ft. of driveway. Thus 3100 sq ft x 6 lbs

per sq. ft =1,870 lbs of CO2 [one ton].

Total 1,870 lbs CO2 released - The use of Propane at CCC.

Further to construction emissions is the use of Propane for the annual space

and water heating plus cooking for one 270 sq. ft. Residential Unit. [A Tiny

Home]

Fact 1. Propane gives off clean CO2!

A] 1 kg propane yields 3 kg of CO2

B] 1 lb. propane yields 13 lbs of CO2

C] 1 lb of propane yields 3 lbs of water [required ventilation reduces humidity build

up and oxygen depletion]

Fact 2. Refilling propane tanks requires gasoline at a CO2 yield of 19 lbs per gallon.

NOTE This Unit uses an approximate average of 100 lbs per month annually

which is not part of CCC physical plant or operations.

Thus 1200 lbs of propane times 13 lbs CO2 per lbs burnt, releases a yield of 15,600

lbs. of CO2/year…the same amount released as to manufacture a mid sized car!

Total 15,600 lbs CO2

II Why do we maintain the Reparian Eco Zone along the creek? For Practical

reasons!

First, the plant and animal habitat, not to mention the feeling of beauty.

Second, to support the healthy growth of the volunteer trees and the resulting

sequestering of CO2 that supports life along the creek banks. [There is an inventory

of the count by species and sizes]. This is a knowledgeable approach to thinking

about an intentional operation.

Third, to consider this Zone a strip of timberland/woodlot for economic reasons. Do

we apply our will to preserve and improve this strip of land?

NOTES

- lumber always keeps up with inflation

-for the appreciation of the soil underlying the canopy plus creek bank stabilization.

We have not lost any bank soil or rocks for thirty years. [Check out the Toyota sales

lot creek bank for asphalt erosion by creek water flow]

-wood is sold by the ton

— a pine [chosen as the data is available] with a 6 inch Diameter at Breast Height

[DBH] sells for $9.00 /ton. [one 50 foot pine + 1 ton approximately]

— @ 12 inch DBH this tree sells for $17/ton with increasing weight

— @ 14 inches DBH [saw timber] this tree sells for $25/ton with increasing weight

PRICES need frequent review for market conditions! This crop is RENEWABLE.

III Sewage Treatment Plant operation and emission of CO2

Wastewater [containing human waste, detergents, {pharmaceuticals and

cosmetics**requested to not be included**} ] requires biological metabolism [using

plastic bio-filters] by the oxidation of organic carbons leading to direct CO2 release

[not to mention methane and nitric-oxide]. By this aerobic bio-augmentation there

is released .2 kg CO2/m3 of wastewater. There is no treatment of the sludge.

[.2 kg CO2/m3 is not a large factor in the CCC Carbon footprint]

IV Now back to CO2 sequestering using timber! This refers to the CO2 held by

every ton of wood cellulose grown.

Notes

- 1 kg of dried wood yields 1.7 kg of CO2
- 1 kg of dried wood yields .4 kg of captured CARBON
- for every ton of Carbon atoms in the wood, you will have stored 3.6 tons of CO2.

Wood is the only construction material that does not give off CO2 during production.

-why use the pine tree? The data is available, pines can mature in 30 years [a

guesstimate for the Nelson area]

-a pine is faster growing than a hardwood maple, think a factor of 2. - a pine has approximately the same growth rate as the Western Red Cedar
- think of our woodlot tree sizes of 30 years ago.
- what has our woodlot contributed?….a wildlife corridor and biodiversity
- what has our woodlot sequestered?
- gravel for the parking lots contributes a negligible amount of CO2
- the 4 tower Units were built to 2008 building code. They would represent a

modest home and family of two. Each Unit with its life style, could contribute 20

tons of CO2/yr. which is the responsibility of the Resident. - given one Pacific N.W. conifer can capture 13 tons of Carbon per 100 years or for

ease of understanding, .13 tons /year - there can be 73 trees growing per forest acre

Calculations

- the CCC woodlot of 1/10 of an acre or 7 trees could capture 13 tons x 7 trees = 91

tons of carbon in 100 years - 1 ton of Carbon = 3.6 tons of Carbon Dioxide [the conversion factor]; thus from

above….Using 7 trees of thirty years

91tons of C x 3.6 = 328 tons of CO2 in 100 years, or 164 tons in 50 years, or 5 tons

in 10 years or ½ ton in 1 year

-our woodlot using 7 trees can CAPTURE from one pine, ½ ton of CO2 per year.

V Now back to further CO2 Sequestering considerations:

Can a 50 ft., 30 years old living pine tree weighting 2000 lbs [wet weight] store

1400 lbs of CO2?

Calculations

-wet weight x .72% = dry weight

2000 lbs x.72% = 1400 lbs of cellulose [CO2]

- Conversion factor to Carbon storage if needed.

-a pine of 1400 lbs CO2 divided by 3.6 (carbon factor)= 390 lbs of Carbon stored for

30 years or 13 lbs of Carbon per year and less when juvenile.

VI Is our Reparian Zone a Carbon sink?

- through growth it absorbs more than it releases, that is a given
- CCC’s required construction yielded 4500lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere due to

manufacturing [we are not accounting for the trace amounts of CO2 given off due to

ageing] - asphalt paving contributed 1870 lbs of CO2 during construction

Using the one pine data approach, we can show that our ‘woodlot’ approach can

absorb 1400 lbs of CO2 over a 30 years growing season with one tree.

Having a total of 6370 lbs of CO2 to be sequestered: 1400 lbs x 5 trees = 7,000 lbs of

CO2 stored over thirty years

This finding is satisfactory from an environmental point of view. We have used 5 of

the 7 trees to reach 100% storage of construction CO2 over 30 years.

A] To summarize the construction calculation results for Carbon;

To find the Carbon value: 1 ton of C = 3.6 tons of CO2

- 3.6 tons CO2 [7200lbs] = 1 ton of C.

Then 6400 lbs CO2 divided by 3.6 = 1.7 tons of Carbon produced during the creation

of cement for our development.

YES our woodlot has stored the CO2/C pollution from the construction. This

confirms our valuation of the Reparian Zone. CCC is at the break point this year on

the construction pollution; when we have used 5 trees for 30 years. We have 7 trees

in our timber cruising calculation evaluation. Thus our 7 woodlot trees in one year

can store 1.7 tons of Carbon!

B] Do we consider the combustion of Propane and the resulting CO2 contribution to

the environment by one Unit?

No, each unit has it own merits that the Residents’ need to consider. Yet in the

curious nature of inquiry, this unit uses approximately 100 lbs of propane per

month annually. Or 1200 lbs per year plus refill vehicle fuel. This propane usage

contributes [from above] 1200 lbs x 13 lbs of CO2 = 15,600 of CO2 per year. The CO2

to C ratio is 3.6 : 1. So 15,600 lbs of CO2 divided by 3.6 = 4330 lbs of C or 2 tons of

Carbon per year.

This Carbon load is close to the woodlot capacity of 1.7 tons of Carbon sequestered.

Do we study the electrical component of the whole complex? Or separate the CCC

physical plant CO2 production from operations from the carbon production of

residential units?

The CCC Physical plant operation can be examined for CO2 generation. Each

residential unit stands apart.

VII Other sites of Carbon generation and storage:

- electricity used is generated by water power. Dam construction depreciation could

be considered - there are 8 units, each can account for lumber/CO2 Storage for15 trees each, plus

one metallic Tiny Home [motor home] - sewage treatment plant Releases CO2

-composting and cover crops improve Carbon Storage down to a depth of 6ft.

-we presently use for Storage, 2 tons of wood chips brought on to the property per

year for surface mulch and pathways, for moisture and soil care

-the open fire pit for recreational in season burning of wood is a carbon Release

activity [this activity space could be used to create charcoal which is 95% Carbon

and would weigh 25% of the dry wood weight, this material could be used for

incorporating into the soil 10 inches deep] the ashes [minerals] go to the compost

-the incinerator is a carbon Release activity and when appropriate materials are

used for fuel, the ashes provide mineral components for the soil, enlivened through

the compost pile activity

-crops grown and harvested contribute to the development of the soil which Stores

and supports organic carbon to the depth of 6 ft. . [Alfalfa root systems go to 15 ft.,

root crowns still show traces left in the lawns where many grew at one time before

the lawn mowing practice] This results in a healthy microbe population with the

resulting better foods

- our lawn areas have a three month active growing season, which can contribute to

Storage of 25 mg of Carbon in the soil per year - the Recycle Room is a Saver, a Storage activity
- the Green Bin by Waste Management Removes black-bagged materials from the

site deposited by the Residents. There is data available on the CO2 content of this

Resident activity from W. M. - the clothes line structure is provided for sun drying….If the Laundry room dryer

[at a cost of $1.00 per load] is SLIGHTLY negetive due to Hydro electricity

generation then the clothes line must be POSITIVE , at the least CO2 Neutral - the Geothermal heating and cooling system yet to be connected with the

geothermal field, removes geo-warmth for winter heating from the ground, this

operation will be a net POSITIVE in both seasons. - soon we will have an Electric Car Charging station for resident needs.

The S’s and P’s out number the R’s with one N!

CONCLUSIONS

Whether it is Carbon or Carbon dioxide, we are all on the same molecular road to

planning and building storage for the future.

The CCC Reparian Eco. Zone can be considered effective in the storage of Carbon

products that result from sustainable activities on our ¾ acre. This small eco. zone

represents what larger producers of CO2 can plan to replicate.

Let’s keep coal in the ground till new technologies secure the Carbon.

Let’s keep oil in the hole till we can design safe and recyclable materials.

Yet we need to contend with Carbon Dioxide and Methane [20 x more troublesome

than CO2] released from warming tundra, land clearing and forest fires, insect and

livestock digestive activity, death and decay, unbalanced logging and ecosystem

decline due to droughts and human activities.

CCC has been planned to do its part! We are Carbon Neutral!

At CCC we encompass many factors relating to climate care, biodiversity, energy

efficiency, people diversity, and community relations.

Barrow Hutchison B.Sc. Agric. November 2021

For 30 years