Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced either directly or indirectly to support your life. Activities like driving, travel, and heating are obvious examples of greenhouse gas emitters, but most purchases indirectly have a carbon impact. Many calculators focus on just travel, but things like clothing, prescription drugs, and eating out all have an impact. The first step to reduce your carbon footprint is to measure your emissions. Businesses may need the help of third-party organizations, but individuals can easily calculate their footprint using the carbon footprint calculator on this page. Note, the carbon footprintcalculator is not 100% accurate, but it provides a good overview of your impact.
What To Do After You Measure Your Footprint?
There are many little things you can do to reduce your emissions. Doing a bunch of little things can add up to a big difference. Here are just a few ideas:
Turn down the heat: Decreasing the temperature of your house by just 1⁰F will reduce emissions by 500lbs and save you money on energy bills.
Spend less time in the shower: Each gallon if water uses three ounces of carbon dioxide to get to your faucet. Shortening your shower by 2 minutes can save 343lb of CO2 per =
Change to energy-efficient light bulb: By switching three lightbulbs with LED bulbs, you could save 300lbs of CO2 each year.
- Use less plastic: Switch to reusable bottles and bags. Decreasing household plastic consumption can decrease your CO2 emissions by 1000s of pounds per year.
Again, these are just a few ideas. Heres 35 more.
2) Carbon Offsetting
If you want to go beyond reduction, you can offset your emissions by purchasing carbon credits or participating in activities that directly combat global warming. Examples include planting a tree or donating to a carbon offset project. Look for non-for-profit organizations like Cool Effect. Heres a list of their current projects.
3) Spread The Word
By encourages others to reduce and offset their carbon output, you can make a real difference. If just one other person becomes carbon neutral due to your efforts, it makes a difference. Remember, a lot of small actions add up to significant results, so spread the word.