Climate Change Quiz Questions and Answers
Quiz Questions and Answers
If 1000 people, who usually take their cars from Petone to Wellington, and back every day, take the train instead over the period of a week. What sort of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would this equal?
A. A 3 tonne reduction
B. A 13 tonne reduction
C. A 23 tonne reduction
The greenhouse gas emissions produced by 1000 people travelling from Wellington to Petone and back again over the period of a week (that's 10 trips) in cars is roughly 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). For the same number of people travelling by train - on the same route and the same number of times - this would be approximately 2 tonnes of CO2. You do the maths - that's a huge reduction in CO2!
You decide you want to go on holiday for a week. Which travel option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
Flying to a main city centre in New Zealand and doing a walking tour of the city sites
Driving around the country for a week visiting family and friends
Flying to Australia and camping in a national park
A return air trip to any destination emits many more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than driving a car because of the huge amount of fuel a plane uses. For example, a return trip from Christchurch to Melbourne will emit about 664 kg of CO2 per person, a return flight from Auckland to Dunedin will emit about 281 kg of CO2 per person. However, driving from Auckland to Wellington, and back again, only emits about 55 kg of CO2 per person. Camping and walking tours are good activities, as they don’t produce any CO2.
[NB: plane emissions are based on an average passenger loading per trip and car emissions are based on one person in the car per trip.]
You’re mowing your lawn. To ensure you’re producing the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions, what should you do with the grass clippings?
Take your clippings to a landfill
Don’t use a catcher when mowing and allow the clippings to scatter over the lawn
Mix the clippings with the compost heap in your garden
Grass clippings (and other organic waste such as food scraps) produce the potent greenhouse gas ‘methane’ as they break down in landfills. This is because there are such large piles of organic waste in landfills that oxygen can’t get into the waste to help the breakdown process. The more organic waste there is in landfills, the more methane is produced. When grass clippings or kitchen scraps decompose in your own compost heap, a lot more oxygen can get into the waste, so less methane is produced. Scattering the clippings on your lawn is the best option because the clippings don’t build up in a pile and therefore no methane is produced.
How much more fuel would your car use travelling at 100km/hr compared to cruising at 90 km/hr?
A. Up to 5%
B. Up to 10%
C. Up to 15%
The faster you go, the more fuel your car will use. The extra time it would take to travel 50km at 90 km/hr compared to 100 km/hr is only about 3 ½ minutes, but you will save up to 15% on fuel!
Other ways to reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption include keeping its tyres inflated to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer, making sure your wheels are properly aligned, removing your roof rack when you don’t need it and getting your vehicle serviced regularly. Braking and accelerating excessively uses up more fuel, therefore producing more carbon dioxide - which contributes to climate change. Go easy on the pedal!
[NB: this answer has been calculated for a 2-litre car.]
You’re waiting for your friend to come out of the dairy. After how long would it be more efficient to turn your engine off then restart it, rather than continuing to idle?
30 seconds to 1 minute
5 – 7 minutes
Even though your engine uses fuel when it needs to be re-started, the amount is so small that the break-even point is between 30 seconds and one minute. So next time you’re in your car with your engine running waiting for someone for longer than one minute – turn it off. You will save on fuel and will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. N:B This doesn’t apply to hybrid vehicles which rely on their electric engine when idling.
Which road trip from Wellington to Masterton would use the least amount of fuel?
A. Driving in the day with almost no other traffic on the road, but keeping to the speed limit
Driving in the evening and overtaking vans and trucks that are going slower than you are
The vans and trucks going more slowly than you mean you will have to brake and accelerate (to overtake) more than if there was no other traffic on the road. Braking and accelerating excessively uses up more fuel, therefore producing more carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. Go easy on the pedal!
One third of all car trips in New Zealand are less than what distance?
A. One kilometre
B. Two kilometres
C. Five kilometres
One third of all New Zealand car trips are less than a kilometre (two thirds are under six kilometres). If possible, try to walk, ride a bike or take public transport on those shorter trips. Such measures will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and will also save you money on petrol!
You want to purchase a vehicle that best suits your needs. You drive your two children 15 minutes to and from school five days a week, take them to sports in the weekends and then during the holidays drive them five hours each way to stay with their grandparents. Which engine size would best suit your needs and produce the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
5 litre 4WD or SUV
3 litre station wagon
2 litre large passenger car
The 2-litre vehicle will meet all your needs for the majority of uses and will consume less fuel (therefore producing less carbon dioxide). The average 4WD and SUV use more fuel than a standard station wagon, which has just as much carrying space as the other options.
If every household with a water cylinder more than 15 years old insulated their cylinder with a wrap, it would save what percentage of New Zealand’s residential energy use?
Water heating is the single biggest energy consumer in a home, so insulating your hot water cylinder with a wrap is well worth doing and will save you money on your power bill. You could also insulate the pipes near the cylinder. Also, if you go away for a week or longer, turn your water cylinder off. It is pointless to waste energy you are not going to use and it will take only about two hours for an average cylinder to heat the water up to 60°C when you come back. Another way to save energy used on water heating is to have showers instead of baths and take shorter showers.
Which lighting option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
B. Compact fluorescent light bulbs
C. Normal light bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs consume about one quarter of the energy consumed by conventional light bulbs and last around eight times longer. So it’s well worth buying these energy efficient bulbs (available at supermarkets and hardware stores), especially when you consider that lighting consumes around 10% of the power in your home. Candles directly produce carbon dioxide (CO2), as a result of burning, and they give out hardly any light, therefore they’re not efficient.
You’re preparing for a party and going back and forth between rooms. What is the best way to make sure your lights aren’t needlessly wasting energy?
Keep the lights on as you go from room to room until the job is done
Turn the lights off every time you leave a room and then on again when you return
The amount of energy needed to activate a light bulb (including standard and compact fluorescent bulbs) is minimal. So it’s better to turn off lights when you leave a room and turn them on again when you return to save energy. Turning any bulb on and off reduces its life by a very small amount and the energy you save by turning lights off when you leave rooms will greatly outweigh any loss of life of your bulb.
Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs (available at supermarkets and hardware stores), which consume about one quarter of the energy consumed by conventional light bulbs and last around eight times longer!
You’re watching TV in one room of the house. Which heating option will keep you warm and use the least amount of electricity?
A. A three bar heater placed directly in front of you
B. A three-fin oil filled heater placed in the centre of the room
C. A wall-panel heater with a thermostat
A bar heater is the most efficient option. This is because a bar heater heats the things it ‘sees’ i.e. if placed in front of you, it will warm you but not the whole room. Convector heaters (such as wall-panel heaters) are usually much less efficient compared to bar, or ‘radiant’, heaters. A convector heater warms the air, which then rises above the occupied space. Oil column heaters provide both convected and radiant heat, so they’re not quite as efficient as a bar heater. Thermostats will save energy - they stop heaters from overheating a room by turning the heater off once the set temperature is reached. The most efficient heaters are actually heat pumps which produce about three times as much heat as the energy they consume (they can also act as an air conditioner in summer). The additional cost of a heat pump will be repaid in energy savings in time.
If we could lift the energy efficiency rating of every household appliance in New Zealand by just half a star, it would be the same as taking how many cars off the road (in terms of saving energy)?
Use the yellow and red energy rating label to compare models when buying whiteware such as fridges, dishwashers and dryers – the higher the number of stars, the better the energy efficiency of the model. The additional cost of an energy efficient model is easily repaid in energy savings.
How much money does the average New Zealand home spend on standby power (such as lights & clocks on appliances and using the remote to turn on/off your TV) a year?
The average New Zealand house spends between $80 and $90 a year on standby power each year. In the wee hours of the morning appliances such as computers, televisions, VCRs, DVDs, stereos, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, electric jugs and toasters are silently sucking power out of electrical sockets while households sleep. Remember to turn these appliances off at the wall!
What percentage of the power your home uses goes on running appliances?
Household appliances use 20% of your home’s energy (10% of that goes on running appliances on stand-by e.g. lights & clocks on appliances and using the remote to turn on/off your TV). Make sure you turn off all appliances at the wall when you’re not using them. Wash clothes in cold water (try to wash full loads) and hang clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer when possible. Do you really need that towel rail on all day? You could hang your towel on the clothesline to dry in summer or in a heated room in winter. Close windows, doors and curtains to keep in the heat during the colder months.
Also, when buying appliances, use the yellow and red energy rating label to compare models – the higher the number of stars, the better the energy efficiency of the model. The additional cost of an energy efficient model is easily repaid in energy savings.
You want to insulate your home, but can’t afford to insulate the entire house. Which option will be the most beneficial in order to keep the house warm?
A. Insulation in the floor
B. Insulation in the ceiling
C. Insulation in the walls
Up to 42% of heat losses occur through the ceiling whereas about 24% is lost through the walls and 10% through the floor. If every home in New Zealand had ceiling insulation, we would save 7% of residential energy use.
You’re going on holiday and want to save electricity while you’re away. How long do you have to be away to make it financially beneficial to turn off your hot water cylinder?
A. One week
B. Two weeks
C. Three weeks
If you go away for a week, it is still worth turning your water cylinder off, as it is pointless to waste energy you are not going to use. It will take about two hours for an average cylinder to heat the water up to 60°C when you come back.
You’ve hosted a dinner party and have a lot of dishes to wash. Which option uses the least amount of electricity?
A. Using your dishwasher on economy cycle
B. Washing the dishes in the sink by hand
Surprisingly, a modern dishwasher will be more efficient as it will draw cold water and use the minimum amount of energy. On most cycles, it would usually use a lot less energy to run its internal water heating element for a full load of dishes than it would if you used hot water straight from the tap to wash the same amount of dishes by hand (even taking into consideration the energy used to power the dishwasher).
How much money a year do you spend on running your beer fridge?
Around 350,000 New Zealand households have a second fridge, most of which are not very energy efficient and consume a minimum of $75 worth of electricity a year. Are you sure you can’t fit that six pack into your main fridge?
You live in Wellington and you’re flying to Singapore. How many pine trees would absorb the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the plane flight (per person)?
Even little steps count! You only need to plant one tree to absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from such a trip - this is the amount of CO2 the tree would remove from the atmosphere over its lifetime (about 28 years for a pine tree). Remember though, trees that are chopped down release the CO2 they’ve absorbed back into the atmosphere.
[NB: plane emissions are based on an average passenger loading per trip.]
Each month, New Zealanders dispose of enough rubbish to fill a rugby field to 30 stories high. How much of this could be composted (on average)?
A. A rugby field to 3 stories high
B. A rugby field to 9 stories high
C. A rugby field to 14 stories high
45% of the average rubbish bag could be composted – that’s a huge waste of space in our landfills. What’s more, much larger amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane are produced by organic waste (such as kitchen scraps and grass clippings) in landfills. This is because the piles of waste at landfills are so huge, that oxygen can’t get into the waste to help the breakdown process. The more organic waste there is in landfills, the more methane is produced. It is much better to let this waste decompose in your own compost heap as a lot more oxygen can get into the waste (smaller pile), so less methane is produced. If you mow your lawn, leave the clippings to scatter over the lawn if possible as this produces no methane.
As for the other 55% of your rubbish bag, make sure you put any plastic, glass, tin and paper items into your recycling bin.
You decide to take a five-day holiday in your local region. Which tourism option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
A tramping trip in a local national park but enjoying the comforts of a luxury hotel each night
A visit to a local winery each day by bus and staying in bed and breakfast accommodation at night
Using your home as a base, but departing each day to enjoy some fun activities with the family including a scenic helicopter ride, jet boating, a picnic in a park and a trip to the local zoo
In option A, the energy one person would use in a luxury hotel for four nights would translate to about 32 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), but the tramping trip involves no transport use (therefore there are no CO2 emissions from fuel). Total = about 32 kg CO2
In option B, staying in a B&B each night would emit about 17 kg of CO2. The bus tour of the wineries (approximately 50 km’s) would emit about 6 kg of CO2 per person (including the emissions produced at each winery visit). Total = about 23 kg CO2
In option C, the CO2 produced in a private home is much less than the other two options at about 6 kg of CO2 per person. However, water activities such as jet boating emit about 15 kg of CO2 per person and air activities, such as a scenic helicopter flight, produces about 28 kg of CO2 per person. A trip to a local zoo (or park) emits about 0.2 kg of CO2 per person. Total = about 49 kg of CO2