17 December 2007

A Better Carbon Calculator For Households

Try out this home carbon footprint calculator

This calculator has several advantages over others we have seen:
  • It combines several sources of greenhouse gas emissions (home, food, vehicles, etc.) so you don't have to add them up manually.
  • It is suitably "flashy".
  • It tallies indirect as well as direct emissions.
  • It provides instant comparison of your greenhouse gas impact with both the average American and the average Earthling.
Access the calculator here. Don't forget to come back.

The "U.S. Average" metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases shown at the bottom of the calculator (about 49 tonnes) is different from the 24 tonnes per capita CO2e shown on our earlier calculator page. This Consumer Footprint Calculator figures emissions for the whole household (average 2.6 people). This is different from per capita (per individual).

This calculator will give you a different result from the "simple carbon footprint calculator" partly because it includes more activities (counting the carbon cost of food, for example). It also includes the indirect carbon costs of activities. So instead of just counting the CO2 produced when you burn gasoline in your car, it also includes the equivalent of the greenhouse gasses emitted extracting and transporting the oil that gasoline was made from, refining it into gas, and transporting it to a gas station.

Here is a chart from a report by the developer of this calculator showing the importance of indirect emissions:

chart of ghg emissions typical family including indirect ones
We are looking for better footprint calculators. Stay tuned.

EPA fact sheet on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (pdf)

tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: