Calculate Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Your Impact

Carbon emissions are known to be a major cause of global warming and climate change. The fact the global warming exists and that humans are speeding up global warming, doesn't mean we have to just sit back and accept the consequences. Measuring and reducing your emissions can reduce your impact on the environment and help reduce the effects of global warming.

Based on your energy consumption habits, you can measure your carbon footprint to assess your impact on the environment.
...but, knowing your individual impact is only the beginning.

Once you calculate your carbon footprint, you have to start reducing or eliminating your habits that have the largest impact.

At Home
How does my home effect my carbon footprint?
Our homes consume energy in a lot of different ways. The best way to measure this is from your utility bills. Every appliance you use and light that you leave on will be reflected in your bill. If multiple people live in your house, your individual emissions will be lower because the total bill is shared among everyone that lives there.

The emissions from your home aren't directly visible at your home. Most of the emissions are released from the power plant that generates your power and through transmitting the energy to your house.

@ (Price per kWh)
Pounds of CO2/year

@ (Price per thousand cubic feet)
Pounds of CO2/year

@ (Price per gallon)
Pounds of CO2/year

How does my waste effect my carbon footprint?
The garbage that we throw away usually goes to a landfill to sit and rot or it may be incenerated. This process releases CO2 emissions into the air as well as other chemicals and toxins into the ground, air, and water. The average American generates 4.5lbs of garbage a day. The CO2 emissions based on typical American consumption levels are considered in these calculations.

Recycling can cut your garbage emissions by almost 40%. There are still some CO2 emissions related to recycling, but this is much less that going to a landfill. Plus, the recycled material will be reused to create new products instead of having to be created from new raw materials.

None (0 lbs/week per person)
Much less than average (~7.5 lbs/week per person)
Less than average (~15 lbs/week per person)
Average (~30 lbs/week per person)
More than average (~60 lbs/week per person)
Much more than average (over 75 lbs/week per person)
Pounds of CO2/year from waste

Most of the time
About half the time
Pounds of CO2/year from waste after recycling

Pounds of CO2/year

In Your Car
How does my car effect my carbon footprint?
Your actual fuel efficiency depends on many factors including the size of your car, how your car is maintained, and your driving habits. The amount of miles that you drive along with the fuel efficiency of your car determines how much emissions you produce.

All other factors being the same, you can technically drive 10,000 miles in a car that gets 50 MPG and produce the same CO2 emissions as driving 5,000 in a car that gets 25 MPG. This obviously doesn't include other factors that can effect the pollution from your car. Driving a hybrid will pollute a lot less than driving a non-hybrid vehicle, and driving a well maintained car (with all the emissions equipment working properly) should pollute less than a poorly kept vehicle.

Average is about 12,000 miles/year
Look up your fuel economy at FuelEconomy.gov

Pounds of CO2/year

In The Air
How does my air travel effect my carbon footprint?
Air travel produces almost as much CO2 emissions per passenger per mile as one passenger driving the same distance alone in a car. The overall effect of air travel may be much worse than a car, though. Besides the CO2 emissions, the planes also emit nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, soot, and water vapor (contrails) directly into the atmosphere at high altitudes, which may double the overall warming effect on the climate.

Pounds of CO2/year

Your Eating Habits
How do my eating habits effect my carbon footprint?
Researchers Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin at the University of Chicago concluded that the average American diet (including all food processing steps) results in the annual release of an extra 1.5 tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. University of Chicago research paper

There was also a similar report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, in 2005, total meat consumption (red meat, poultry, and fish) amounted to 200 pounds per person.

None (0 lbs/day per person)
Much less than average (~ 1/8 lbs/day per person)
Less than average (~ 1/4 lbs/day per person)
Average (~ 1/2 lbs/day per person)
More than average (~ 1 lbs/day per person)
Much more than average (over 1 1/4 lbs/day per person)
Pounds of CO2/year