What is my Carbon Footprint ?

footprint-sand.jpgI’ve read about it so many times by now, I’ve started wondering. Reading an article about people foreswearing international travel to limit the carbon footprint, I got curious. After all, although my domestic air travel is very limited (I never travel for business.), I still make an annual pilgrimage to Old Europe – guess that’s about a 20K miles roundtrip?

My brother who lives in Singapur told me a while back that he had purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to make up the footprint of his international air travel. Pretty impressive, I thought. Not sure how much that would cost. Hey, let me see if I can find out…. Wow, here goes, according to Susstainable Travel International, the cost would be:

Your total emissions : 11.5886 tons of CO2  
Total cost to offset : $405.60 USD.

Okay, it something I could afford. But since I figured I was way below the average on my general footprint, not counting the air travel, I haven’t bothered to pay extra. But what is my actual footprint ? There are many calculators on the web that try to estimate this. I haven’t found one detailed enough to instill confidence in the numbers. https://cool-it.us has me at 50,000 lbs of CO2 per year, which is 140% the US average – http://www.carbonfootprint.com had me at 15 tons. But again, that’s counting air travel. What about the fact, that I have a five-minute (3-mile) commute to work or that we’ve replaced most of our light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs ? Or the fact that I turn off the lights when I leave the house ? Or the xeriscape gardening that cuts down on irrigation ? Okay, I’m not bragging about my green resume here. I’m just really curious if there is a calculator that looks at your daily life and tells you were you stand so that, well so that you can brag 🙂

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