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  • Writer's picturePracticing Sustainability

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

Updated: Apr 25, 2023


Written by Kyla Given




What is a Carbon Footprint and Why Does it Matter?

A carbon footprint represents the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted as a result of an activity. Greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide are problematic as they contribute to global warming and climate change when emitted into the atmosphere. By reducing our carbon footprints we can actively participate in preventing global warming and its damaging effects on our environment. Thus, environmental indicators such as “carbon footprint” can be important tools for measuring the negative externalities of day to day activities. By calculating your own individual carbon footprint, you can identify the activities you participate in that are contributing the most to your carbon footprint and implement a strategy based on your findings to effectively reduce your individual carbon emissions.


How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?

If you live in the United States the Environmental Protection Agency provides a carbon footprint calculator that can provide you with a rough estimate of your carbon footprint based on average U.S. values. The EPA’s carbon footprint calculator also has an option for inputting your own data which allows for those who live outside of the U.S. to also use it. By inputting your own personal data from utility bills and your vehicle's fuel efficiency you can achieve an even more accurate estimate of your carbon footprint. The EPA also provides a calculator that will help you calculate the actual efficiency of your car.


EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator: https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

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