Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

More and more people are becoming aware of climate change and the potential problems it is causing for life on our planet. As with most complex issues, there is usually no obvious silver bullet solution. And even though it’s not a problem that governments can solve on their own, they must do a better job of providing their citizens with more ways to understand how they can help. Nothing is more powerful than millions of people taking action in their microcosm world to positively influence the outcome in the macrocosm.

But what can we do to help?

One way to get started is to calculate your own carbon footprint. That’s the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide CO2) you are personally responsible for as you go about your normal life. Just knowing that one fact gets you thinking. There are a number of free online calculators that will provide you with your carbon footprint in only a few minutes time.

I took a look at several and found these to be the most user-friendly.

I used each site to calculate my total household emissions, and each one came up with a slightly different answer, but they were relatively close. In a matter of 3 minutes time here are the results for my household as calculated by The Nature Conservancy site.

carbonfootprint.jpg

We’re below the United States average but still well above the World average. We have taken some steps to help, as both myself and my wife now live less than 4 miles from work, and my oldest son takes public transportation to his job. But clearly we can do more to improve on this number. These sites also offer suggestions on how you can improve your score, some even link you to ways to purchase carbon offsets. Having a zero footprint would be great. A negative one even better. Go on, try it.

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