Everyone has a Carbon Footprint. If you are a consumer of energy that is created by fossil fuels, then there is an attributable amount of CO2 emissions that you have some responsibility for. Even if you used solar panels on your house, drive an electric car, and think that everything you use is “green”, you are still benefiting from the use of fossil fuels.
If you were able to cut out all of the energy usage in your life that is generated by fossil fuels, you still are indirectly benefiting from them. Do you use roads? The more you use roads, the more they wear and need maintenance. What kinds of fuel do the maintenance vehicles use to repair roads? What about groceries? Do you buy groceries at the store? What kinds of fuels were used to deliver those goods? What about the farm equipment that harvested the food? Those machines burn fossil fuels.
Ignoring the indirect ways that you might utilize the usage of fossil fuels, we can fairly accurately determine the amount of emissions are directly related to your daily life based on your household usage of electricity and natural gas, and your monthly fuel consumption in your vehicle. For your natural gas and electricity usage, you simply need your latest bills to see how much you use. For your vehicle, try to keep track of the total amount of gallons of fuel you use in a month. If that’s too difficult, take your average MPG and multiply that by an estimate of the total amount of miles you drive. There are fuel mileage calculators to help with this kind of mathematical problems.
Once you have tallied the total amount of energy usage that is directly related to your household needs and your vehicle usage, you can calculate your total Carbon Footprint. A Carbon Footprint Calculator will help determine how many pounds of CO2 emissions per month, or year, you will release into the environment.
There are ways that people are offsetting their Carbon Footprint. One of the most popular ways utilizes trees in a process called Carbon Sequestration. Trees naturally absorb CO2 and release oxygen back into the environment. You only need to know how many trees it takes to offset your Carbon Footprint. Every tree is different and absorb these emissions at different rates depending on type and age. To help estimate how many trees it would take to offset your Carbon Footprint try this Carbon Offset Calculator. This should give you a better idea of what impact you have on the environment.
Of course, taking steps to reduce the amount of energy you consume is obviously going to have the most significant impact on the environment. How does your Carbon Footprint compare with your friends?