What is a Carbon Footprint?
A person's carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by them. The footprint is usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). So when you drive your car, heat your home, or engage in any activity that utilizes energy generally some sort of emissions result. If the energy source utilized is fossil fuel based like gasoline, oil or coal then greenhouse gas is produced.
Besides causing air pollution, greenhouse gases have been associated with global warming. Anything an individula does to reduce their use of these fossil fuels helps to protect our environment. On the right is a link to the EPA's website helping to show what different elements of our daily life produce carbon dioxide and how to reduce it. One of the simpliest and most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. By taking the bus, walking, riding your bike or car pooling - even once a week - you can help protect our environment.
Use the calculator below to see the amount of carbon emissions driving your car causes. Then try it again, inputting new data based on if you used the bus one day a week. A little bit of effort can really add up fast! Additionally by going to the bottom of the column to the right you can follow a link that shows you how much money riding the bus can save you!
CARBON EMISSIONS CALCULATOR
Auto Emissions Assumptions: 19.4 lbs/gallon [US EPA, 2005, Emission Facts: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle]