This week I stumbled upon a link to a carbon footprint calculator. So, I decided I would calculate my carbon footprint. The calculator was divided into different components of lifestyle habits that contributed to CO2 emissions. Some examples of the CO2 emitting actions included flights, electricity, car travel, and eating habits. I thought it was interesting to see how all the components came together in the calculations. It also showed how everyday habits emit CO2 and how much impact I, personally, have on the environment.
According to this calculator, over the last 12 months my carbon footprint consisted of:
1.44 metric tons of CO2 from electricity and gas
1.54 metric tons of CO2 from plane travel
5.19 metric tons of CO2 from car travel
0.01 metric tons of CO2 from public transit
4.47 metric tons of CO2 from secondary emissions (including shopping and eating habits)
My total carbon foot print was 12.66 metric tons of CO2 from February 2012 to February 2013. My largest number was from traveling via car and plane. I have done a lot of traveling over the past year, for conferences, trips to my home town, and visiting friends. I also spent my summer traveling all around Oregon since I had an internship there for two months. Most of my trips consisted of carpooling with other interns. I would consider this to reduce my overall carbon footprint.
Even so, my footprint is almost half of America’s average carbon footprint, which is 20 metric tons of CO2. This site said the world-wide goal for individual carbon footprints was 2 metric tons of CO2 a year. This would lead to a drastic change from the typical American lifestyle, including my own lifestyle.
My goal is to reduce my carbon footprint by next year by using more public transportation, eating less red meat and buying more foods with less packaging.
What’s your carbon footprint!?
P.S. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out our Green Ninja animation “Footprint Renovation.”