Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Calculating your carbon footprint is a powerful educational exercise. It helps you understand which elements of your lifestyle are the largest contributors to climate change and can help identify effective strategies for moving toward a more climate-friendly lifestyle. However, this is not just about taking responsibility for ourselves: while individual actions are vital, they must be complemented by systematic changes and supportive policies at larger scales. Your carbon footprint will probably highlight areas of your life that have high impact, but are difficult for you to change given how society functions today. Understanding our own carbon footprint can help you be a more effective advocate for change at the community, state, and national levels.

There are many good carbon footprints out there, but we recommend the “Berkeley Calculator” created by CoolClimate. Households and businesses can enter their consumption of electricity, oil, foods, etc. and the calculator shows you how many tons of CO2 that represents, and how you stack up against similar households or businesses. At the end you can pledge to do other actions and the calculator will show you what that would mean for your footprint.

Steps to take

  1. Go here for the household calculator
  2. Answer questions about your energy, food, transportation, and consumption habits.

It’s ok to estimate; the goal is to understand which behavior changes have the biggest impact, not to be accurate to twelve decimal places.

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