Monday, April 11, 2011

Carbon Footprinting

There are several sites you can go to if you want to see what your carbon footprint is: that is how much carbon dioxide you yourself (via your habits) put into the atmosphere. There are also sites that calculate your impact on the Earth's natural resources.  This week I had to do one for two different classes using two different calculators.  The first is a resource calculator while the second is solely a CO2 calculator.

The first was
This site asks an array or questions ranging from your diet, and transportation to your spending habits!!  At the end it doesn't tell you how much carbon you put into the air but rather how many Earth's would be needed if everyone on the planet lived the way that you do!!  I consider myself a fairly ecologically and environmentally responsible person and yet it would take 2.5 Earths for the 7 billion people on the planet to live the way that I do.  That is an awful lot of resources!! The site also gives you graphs and charts that break down what areas you have more impact.  For example my food requirements (just me) use 55 acres of land. That's alot of land to feed this one mouth!!  I also impact forrested land more than I do cropland, pastureland and marine fisheries.  So clearly I still can make changes to live a more sustainable life.  Below is the average... however the range in the class room alone went from 2.5 earths (me) to 10!!

The Second site was
This one solely measures the amount of CO2 that your lifestyle contributes to the atmosphere.  My household of three emits 714lbs per month!! 62% of my emissions are from transportation.  I'll admit, I was quite deflated with my results.  But unfortunately I'm not in a position to change alot of those habits.  Financially speaking I can't afford to move closer to campus, and because I'm not the only adult in the house I have to compromise on practices (such as not using the AC every day!).  Again this is a generic breakdown, and it'll vary from person to person.

For comparison purposes I also did the footprints for my two younger siblings (I was too afraid to include my older brother!)  Because they live within a mile of their workplace & therefor usually walk, as well being smaller households their footprints were much smaller: My sister emits 442lbs of CO2 per month while my brother & his wife emit 411lbs.  With those numbers in mind, and knowing they aren't nearly as eco-minded as I am I was encouraged to know that when I am the head of the house I'll have a much smaller footprint.  But until then I will try to find ways to further reduce my impact on the Earth and her resources.


  1. Your emission is much smaller than mine!!! I think I have to talk with my friend, who emits approximately 2846lbs/month, about how to reduce the co2 emission...

  2. Yeah, that was really cool you had such a low footprint! I'm jealous. And, I like your "teachable moments" with your son by a river! that's a GREAT thing to do! Take him fishing! You know what they'll feed him for life.