A carbon footprint is amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused a person, family or organization. Greenhouse gases are emitted by driving, clearing land, building, manufacturing products and consuming food, fuel, products and services. For the sake of simplicity, reporting is often in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted.
Measuring your carbon footprint couldn’t be easier with the many online tools to calculate your use of resources from transportation and food to energy and recycling. Calculators are available for kids, adults, families, organizations and businesses.
I used the Nature Conservancy Carbon Footprint Calculator which is short and sweet and easily completed in a few minutes. The results from my eco-groovy lifestyle showed we use about half of the resources of a typical American two person family (yay!) but also shows in contrast to the world average I suck nearly three times as many resources, which gets a big boo. It also shows my household’s weak spot – transportation. That is our family’s biggest area for improvement, which would include driving less, getting more energy efficient vehicles, walking or biking more for short trips and using public transportation.
Here is a roundup of 15 carbon footprint calculators. Pick one in the category that applies to you, your family or business. At the tail end of the list there is a category just for kids. I knew you needed something for them to do today – I’ve got your back.
What surprises you? What would you do differently after seeing your results? Please comment with your thoughts.