Why should you know? Do you care? Should you care?
There’s a lot of talk about one’s carbon footprint and how it relates to the hyper-large super-scary ultra- intense threat of Global Climate Change. Basically, Carbon dioxide is a gas that contributes to the Greenhouse effect, warming our planet. Methane is another one of those gases that is much more potent, but it doesn’t last a s long in the atmosphere, so people don’t worry about it as much. Anyway, we produce carbon dioxide lots of ways. Even breathing! But most of it is our lifestyle choices. Flying 5,000 miles a year, eating red meat every meal, and using a natural gas furnace from 1925 is going to use much more carbon than someone who bicycles to work, eats meat a few times a week, and has a 95% efficient furnace. Just as an example. I found a good website that is easy to use, simple, and will take less than three minutes to figure out just how many tons of carbon you put into the atmosphere every year.
This calculator from the Nature Conservancy is simple to use.
I was shocked to see that my household belches out 27 tons of carbon every year. That is…until I saw that the average American household produces 80 tons!
Reducing your carbon output will not instantly solve global warming, but every little bit that we can do can add up to have a significant effect. So see what you number is, and then maybe think about ways you can decrease it.
Quick fixes would be things like: using energy efficient lighting, buying energy star appliances, driving the most fuel efficient car you can afford…less, eating less meat, eating organically grown food, eating locally grown food, recycling as much as you can, composting food scraps, and many more!