Carbon Footprint Calculator
What is Your Carbon Footprint & How Can You Measure It?
Finding your carbon footprint is a great first step to take if you want to make the world a little greener. Every time you drive your car, heat your home or cook on a gas stove, carbon dioxide is released, adding a little bit more carbon to the atmosphere every time. But those little “bits" add up to a much bigger “bit" when you consider that millions of other people are doing those same things every day.
Your carbon footprint is an estimate of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by your daily activities over the course of a year. By calculating your carbon footprint, you will receive an overall estimate of your total carbon output. This estimate will help you identify areas where you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your carbon footprint, significantly lowering your overall impact on the environment. These changes are not only great for the environment, but will often save you money in the long run too!
How to Use Our Carbon Footprint Calculator
To find your carbon footprint, we’ll take a look at several activities that contribute to carbon emissions. For each category, choose the answer that best matches your normal routine. When in doubt, just use your best guess. Even an imperfect estimate is bound to be eye-opening!
To find your carbon footprint, we’ll take a look at several activities that contribute to carbon emissions. For each category, choose the answer that best matches your normal habits over the course of a year. Here are a few steps and statistics to help you gauge your overall travel, trash, and diet habits.
Step #1: Travel – Enter the number of miles traveled by car and plane over the course of a year.
- The average person travels over 13,000 miles by car and over 2,000 miles by air annually.
Step #2: Household Waste – Enter the number of people in your household and check mark the items you commonly recycle.
- The average American throws out 4.34 pounds of trash per day.
Step #3: Diet – Add a ‘1’ next to your typical diet, consisting of either meat twice daily, meat once daily, vegetarian, or vegan.
- The average American diet contributes 5,000 pounds of carbon annually.
If in doubt, use your best guess. Even an imperfect estimate is bound to be eye-opening!
Overall Carbon Footprint:
0 lbs CO2 annually
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
After you’ve calculated your carbon footprint, it’s up to you to decide what to do next. Are your emissions below average? Is your footprint higher than you expected? If so, a good goal to strive towards is reducing your carbon footprint by 4%. Here are some easy changes that will reduce your carbon footprint:
- Drive Less: Walk or bike when you have errands to run close by. Consider carpooling with friends or coworkers. Use public transportation when possible.
- Stop Speeding: Use cruise control. The faster you drive the more gas you burn. You also burn more gas changing speed frequently than when you maintain a steady pace.
- Keep Your Tires Inflated: You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3% just by keeping your tires from getting low.
- Use Energy Efficient Bulbs: They last up to 10 times longer than traditional lightbulbs, produce much fewer carbon emissions, and net you a lower electricity bill.
- Hands Off the Thermostat: Keep your thermostat at a steady temperature throughout each season. Whenever possible, turn off your heat or air conditioning when you won’t be home for an extended period of time.
- Eat Less Meat: Meat production has a huge impact on the environment. Meat is delicious, but making one or two days each week “meatless" days is also a major win for your wallet.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t incorporate all of these tips into your routine. Switching just one light fixture to energy efficient bulbs reduces your carbon emissions by half a ton each year. And knowing what your carbon footprint is means you’ve already won half the battle. Every little bit helps!
For more tips on reducing your carbon footprint and living greener, check out the Greener Living section of our blog.