The total amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that you generate constitutes your individual carbon footprint. In the United States, we each create 16 tons annually on average — one of the highest rates worldwide (the global average is closer to 4 tons, according to the Nature Conservancy).
Several online calculators offer free assessments for determining your own footprint, as well as recommendations for how you can lower it.
Just how accurate are such estimators? The answer lies in the name: They offer estimates. But that’s better than nothing, and the advice for trimming your footprint may be invaluable.
There are several estimators you can try from the following sources.
- Environmental Protection Agency: www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator
- University of California, Berkeley: coolclimate.berkeley
- The Nature Conservancy: www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator