Challengicious Monday: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

Here's your first challenge from The Conscious Shopper:

Calculate your carbon footprint.

There are a gazillion carbon calculators on the web. My personal favorite is the one over at The Nature Conservancy, for no other reason than that it's aesthetically pleasing (although it does score my household with a much higher footprint than the other calculators). Here are a few more for you to choose from:
All carbon calculators have their weaknesses, and we could quickly fall into a debate about the effectiveness of calculating your carbon footprint at all. The point here really isn't to get an accurate assessment of your footprint but to get a general idea of where you are on your green journey so you can compare how far you've come at the end of the year. Think of The Conscious Shopper Challenge as kind of like yoga - it's not a're only comparing you to you.

But if you like a little competition, you can also compare yourself to me. Here's where my five-person, one-car household stands on several different carbon calculators:
  • Nature Conservancy = 44 tons
  • Conservation International = 14.1 tons
  • EPA = 31,203 pounds
  • Earthlab = 14 tons

What's your carbon footprint? Take a minute, pick a calculator, and tell me in the comments!

NEXT CHALLENGE...Keep track of your trash for a week.


You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! View the whole list of Challengicious Mondays.

Like what you see? Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook! You can also find me over at The Green Phone Booth.

Thanks to Greencolander for the lovely image.

This post was shared in the All Things Eco Carnival #84 and Carnival of the Green #210.


crstn85 January 4, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

I got 20 tons for my one person househol at nature conservancy which is 7 less than the average for the US (but way higher than the world avg). If only my friend hadn't moved to New Mexico, I wouldn't have flown anywhere.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper January 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

@crstn85 - It's the flying that messed us up too. My husband takes a couple business trips every year - unfortunately, unavoidable.

bashtree January 4, 2010 at 11:51 PM  

Yay! Knowing is half the battle! I'm a new reader, and what can I say, except that I'm happy to be here?

nature conservancy says 33. We flew a LOT in August and October - my husband was doing job interviews. Without the flights, I don't know how much lower it would be.

I think our logical next step might be composting, although we don't have any land so I don't know what we would do with the compost when it was done.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper January 5, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

@bashtree - I'm happy you're here too! As far as composting - maybe try a worm bin and use the compost on your houseplants? Or find a friend with houseplants?...I'm looking forward to the day when most cities have composting collection like recycling collection. I do have a small backyard that I'm planning to plant a garden in this spring, but so many people live in apartments, and their food scraps are wonderful plant nutrition going to waste.

By the way, composting will be a challenge here in a few weeks. Hope you'll come back and check it out!

Curt N January 11, 2010 at 11:43 PM  

My carbon footprint is relatively low, I have been using green web hosting for my site to help reduce my overall carbon footprint. Good post we need more people like you around spreading the word!

Gene February 1, 2010 at 8:22 PM  

Flying and driving are big impacts on your footprint, at least by most calculators.

For our 2 person, 2 car household I got 14 tons with the Nature Conservancy calculator. That's in part because of (a) little flying (b) less driving, mostly in a hybrid (c) I've done a lot of energy efficiency work on our house.

Anonymous,  September 15, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

TNC gave me 56 tons for our two person household. OUCH!!! I have got to do this!!

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