Carbon footprint calculator

Found this light weight carbon footprint calculator: http://www.conservation.org/xp/CIWEB/programs/climatechange/carboncalculator.xml

I’m sure a more detailed calculator would be far more accurate, but this one says my footprint is 12.4 tons of carbon emitted per year. Ouch. Per the site, the average (US?) person emits 24 tons/year. Double ouch.

My carbon footprint is dramatically smaller because I work from home — saves me 9.2 tons of carbon per year. Amazing.

I could also give up my average ~6 long air flights per year and save 3.7 tons/year and give up my omnivorous ways and become vegan and save another 1.8 tons/year, but I just don’t see either of those happening.

The calculator doesn’t factor in other carbon reducing behaviors such as the fact that I plant 6-12 trees per year in my yard (we live off the beaten path, so we have a 2 acre yard). Per backyard living: “One acre of trees absorbs 6 tons of carbon dioxide and produces 4 tons of oxygen. That’s enough fresh air to sustain 18 people for a year!”

I’m thinking I’m doing pretty good overall, but there are so many other simple things I can/will change (using canvas bags at the grocery store, recycling more, finish swapping out less than eco friendly light bulbs, etc.).

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  1. #1 by Anonymous on June 8, 2007 - 4:17 pm

    Please be careful where and how you use the CFLs and how you dispose of them. See http://www.sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm. I have heard that it takes more energy to create a CFL than a regular bulb, and that offsets the energy savings from its use. I have yet to verify whether that is true.

  2. #2 by Anonymous on June 15, 2007 - 8:35 am

    Maybe instead of giving up meat entirely, eat less red meat. One cow causes as much global warming pollution as a low mpg car (not counting the pollution caused by growing the grain to feed the cow or cutting down jungles and forrests to raise the cow).

  3. #3 by TheWebsEye on September 29, 2007 - 3:40 am

    I think there will always be arguements about exact measurements from each type of use. The calculator at http://carbon.ecoforests.org allows you to enter the number of units – metric or imperial – of each type of energy use – and then compares the CO2 footprint from each on a graph – really good.

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