Ever wonder how much carbon dioxide is created as a result of daily activities? There are numerous carbon calculators on the web. Here's a sample from the collection listed at the Bureau of National Affairs, a news agency. Their home page for climate is http://climate.bna.com/climate/home.aspx:
Carbonfund.org’ s calculator at www.carbonfund.org/Calculators#Home asks about energy used in your home, car, air flights, public transportation and special events. You will need estimates of electricity, gas and heating oil use, as well as miles traveled by various modes. If you attend a special event, you can estimate your footprint based upon your travel. If you're planning a wedding, you can estimate the total footprint for your wedding based on the number of guests and how far they've traveled and where they stayed.
The calculator at www.ecohatchery.com/calculator asks many of the same questions, but also includes the carbon footprint from your diet. You might already know that a diet high in vegetables and fruits has a significantly smaller footprint than one with significant meat.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has one of the original web-based carbon calculators at www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html It allows you to calculate household emissions including waste disposal, and then choose among various actions that reduce your footprint. The resulting savings are calculated in dollars and emissions.
The Texas State Energy Conservation Office has a straightforward calculator, but one that allows you to make changes and easily see the effect of those changes on your footprint. Go to www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm The results for Boiled Frog and spouse were 25,713 pounds of carbon added to the atmosphere as 94,281 pounds of carbon dioxide. That's about 6.5 tons of carbon for each of us, based on collectively flying 50,000 miles, driving 20,000 miles per year and heating the house, including hot water.
You can take a closer look at your footprint from travel at www.travelmatters.org/calculator/individual/personal It includes carpooling, rental car, taxi, RV, motorcycle and public transportation.
Take your pick among these, and have some fun. It's serious fun, however, as each of us leaves an impressive trail of carbon dioxide in our wake.
Contributed by Boiled Frog on August 12, 2011.