Carbon Footprint Calculator - Just How Big is Your Carbon Footprint?
Everything we do in our lives contributes to the overall greenhouse gas emissions sent into our atmosphere thus causing climate change. From driving our car to eating dinner, all of our activities produce some type of carbon footprint. But how do you know how much carbon you are emitting? By using one of the many free carbon footprint calculators available on the Internet, you can see what daily living acitivies emit the most greenhouse gas. And, then knowing where your large emissions take place, you can make a plan to reduce these emissions by making small modifications to your lifestyle.
The average American generates about 20 tons of carbon dioxide a year! This includes emissions from your home, car, air travel and the food you eat. Every choice you make contributes to the health of the planet, for better or worse. Even a small reduction in your consumption of natural resources can make the difference between what's lost and what's saved.
What is a Carbon Footprint Calculator?
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emitted by a person, product or event. So, a carbon footprint calculator gathers all relevant information on a person or household and calculates the overall carbon emissions in a year.
With all the talk about Carbon Credits, the Internet is loaded with free carbon footprint calculators. These sites ask you about your life activities - how far you drive your car, if you fly on plane, if you recycle, if you eat organic food, just to name a few. By gathering all of this information, the calculator will come up with a total amount of carbon you emit each year.
Here are a few sites that offer free carbon footprint calculators:
When you come up with an answer you may be surprised at how much carbon you emit a year.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
There are a lot of little things you can do now to reduce your carbon footprint. It may be buying different food or buying a different car, so, depending on your budget here are some easy changes you can make today to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL's.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater.
- Tune up your HVAC units - replace filters regularly for more efficiency.
- Replace older, less efficient appliances with Energy Star products.
- Car pool to work or ride your bike, walk or take the bus.
- Buy more organically grown food and buy produce grown locally.
- Eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables and buy meat substitutes.
- Check with your local waste management company and make sure you are recycling to the fullest.
- Unplug appliances, computers, VCR's, TV's, and rechargers when not in use.
If all of us took the time to really examine our daily lives and how much our activities impact the environment, using a carbon footprint calculator just quantifies our impact for us. And, knowing this amount makes it easier for us to really look at what we can do as individuals to lessen our impact on the environment. Small changes do not have to be costly, and if everyone made a few small changes in their lives, the overall positive impact on the environment would be tremendous.