# How do they come up with the correlation of CO2 emissions and planting trees?

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I recently saw this: “An average router consumes 6 watts of electricity an hour. Leaving a router on for a year creates about 24 KG of CO2. If you switch your router off for an average of 8 hours a day, that’s the equivalent of planting one tree.” I have no idea what flair this falls under.

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Statistical averages take a reasonably large sample size of each event and assume that this is representative for all examples as a general concept.

CO2 is created as a byproduct of some types of energy production. You can look at how much co2 is released for how much energy/electricity is created/stored and create a rate for co2 per watt. If you shut off your router you’re saving power therefore releasing some lesser amount of co2. The difference between the co2 you would’ve released through turning your router off is roughly equivalent to the amount of co2 planting one tree would use to create carbohydrates through photosynthesis.

Electricity usually is generated by some sort of CO2 producing action if not from dams, nuclear power, or solar. They take the average CO2 production needed to generate one kw over a massive sample size. Then they take the average CO2 absorbing rate of one tree over a massive sample size. They do some math and say, “x amount of kw used equals 1 tree.”

Electric appliances use energy. Power plants make energy often times by burning fossil fuels. By calculating the amount of fuel needed to power your router we can also calculate the amount of pollution as a result.

Essentially someone did the calculation and reached the power needs for a year and compared the resulting pollution to the amount that could be absorbed by a tree.

Solution, go plant a tree and let your router run.