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What would the environmental impact be if Santa Claus used a car to deliver presents, rather than rode a sleigh pulled by reindeer?
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Researchers at North Carolina State University have actually calculated that, in order to visit the house of every child on Earth, Santa Claus would have to travel a total distance of 122 million miles (about 196 million kilometres). Assuming that he drove a medium-sized petrol car (a new Volkswagen Golf 1.5, for example), which produces 120 grams of CO2 for every kilometre travelled, he would produce a total of almost 24,000 tons of CO2. 

To put this into perspective, North Carolina State University state that one tree can absorb up to 48 pounds (around 22 kg) of CO2 per year. At this rate, the same tree would take over 1 million years to remove all of this CO2 from the atmosphere! In contrast, a medium-sized hybrid car might produce around 45g/km and so 8820 tons of CO2 for the same journey.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/co2-and-vehicle-tax-tools

https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/cars/Car-CO2-and-fuel-economy-mpg-figures?CarType=&Manufacturer=volkswagen&Model=golf&P=3&CO2To=&EquaMpgFrom=&SortBy=CO2&SortDesc=false&FuelType=petrol

https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/fyi-how-long-would-it-take-santa-deliver-presents-every-kid-earth/

https://projects.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.htm

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