(Please also see notes below)

DISTANCE 480,096 km 480,096 km
FUEL CONSUMPTION 66,253 litres (gas) 1 large round (hay)
FUEL COST $73,733 $2600
GHG EMISSIONS (CO2 equiv.) 152 tonnes 0.07 tonnes
‘EXTRAS’ $715 (snow tires) $324 (polar socks)
TOTAL COST $74,448 $2,924


MODE: Single Occupant Vehicle is a fuel-efficient gasoline-powered 2012 van, top-rated by the Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada. Reindeer team includes Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

DISTANCE: One pole-to-pole trip in each of 24 time zones, equal to 12 times around the Earth. The circumference of the Earth at the poles is 40,008 km.

FUEL CONSUMPTION: Given the stop-and-start pattern of deliveries and the overall distances involved, gas consumption is assumed to be one-half highway and one-half city driving, based on NRCan rating of 11.2 litres per 100 km (highway) and 16.6 litres per 100 km (city) for this vehicle. Reindeer fuel is based on 21.3 grams of hay per kilometre, based on running speeds of non-magic reindeer of up to 80 km/hour. It is not known if the magic qualities of the reindeer increase their efficiency. Hay is a mixture of alfalfa, orchard grass, and timothy.

EMISSIONS: Vehicle emissions are based on NRCan rating of 2.3 kg of CO2 per litre of fuel consumed, converted to metric tonnes. Reindeer emissions are based on proxy figure of 0.36 kilograms of methane per day for domestic reindeer from enteric fermentation and manure management (2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories). Emissions are expressed here as CO2 equivalent tonnes. Methane is about 21 times more powerful than CO2 as a contributor to climate change.

FUEL COST: Vehicle fuel cost is based on $1.09/litre at the pump. Reindeer fuel is purchased at a reported price of $260/ton for a large 10 ton round of premium non-GMO alfalfa on the Pipestone Minnesota market.

EXTRAS: Recognizing the different comfort and safety needs associated with each modal choice – four winter tires for the vehicle, and eighteen pairs of polar fleece socks from Mountain Equipment Co-op for the reindeer.

TOTALS: Totals are for Christmas Eve travel only, and do not include vehicle or livestock purchase, nor costs for licencing, taxes, insurance, maintenance or veterinary care.


Happy Holidays to All!