The Grand Prix rolls into town this weekend and the whole city is intoxicated with Grand Prix fever. As the first official huge event that kicks off the summer, people from all over the world descend on Montreal to experience the best the city has to offer.
While we all drink, eat and have a good time, we often forget about the ecological impact of our festivals. I understand that it's no fun to think about such gloomy things when you're trying to have fun but it's no doubt that our collective carbon footprints are astronomical when a party roars through town.
It's simple math really — more people equals more garbage and more emissions — it's a fact that plagues the world around. Even so, festivals and massive city-wide events like the Grand Prix don't help an already fragile ecological situation.
In fact, events like the Grand Prix are some the most polluting. Montreal's Grand Prix will be no different and experts estimate that this year's edition will be even worse than usual.
First, let's take a look at the effects of the race itself:
According to TVA Nouvelles, the race alone creates over 7 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This number is based on the number of F1 drivers and the distance they travel during the race. This equals roughly 110 kilograms of fuel.
When factoring in emissions created by the 93,000 expected spectators on race day, 28,000 tonnes of CO2 are added to the emissions created by cars on the track, TVA continues.
To offset the emissions, experts suggest that the city plant some 165,00 trees around the area. While there are no plans underway for a project like that, the Formula 1 committee in Montreal hopes to reduce the emissions by half by next year.
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The organization of Formula 1 itself made the move to hybrid engines in 2014 which greatly reduced overall emissions. Next year, says TVA, they will introduce on-site compositing. Also, they're reducing food waste by donating the excess.
A paper publishing in Racecar Engineering also points out that because success in F1 depends upon efficiency, fuel efficiency provides a competitive advantage. As a result F1 races have become increasingly environmentally friendly.
The race itself, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. The production of parts and other preparations for the race account for more than 17,000 tonnes of CO2 — that's including transport. Tourists contribute nearly 40,000 tonnes of CO2 over the whole weekend. Visitors who drive into the inner city to attend the Grand Prix only compound emissions.
There are plans to mitigate these unrelenting CO2 emissions in the next few years, so not all is lost. Keep in mind that this is only one giant summer event out of many, so there's really no way of knowing how bad it could potentially get.
While we all try to have fun and forget about the existential doom that's facing our planet, let's just try to be a little more conscious about our waste?
The Grand Prix of Montreal is set to generate thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions. Though steps are being made to help quell overconsumption, the Grand Prix is still one of the most polluting events on the calendar.
For more information about the Grand Prix and pollution, check out TVA Nouvelles.