Many People Want to Know “What Is My Environmental Footprint?”
Calculating your footprint and understanding your ecological footprint are crucial steps in lowering your carbon emissions. It means taking responsibility for the ecological impact your daily life is having–the ecological footprint we’re all contributing to. It’s a nasty consequence of modern life. To paint a clearer picture, the following list is only a handful of the many carbon-emitting processes some take for granted in our daily lives:
Transportation (Car fuel is one of the biggest contributors to our climate crisis.)
Internet (Did you know that sending emails and texts also creates a carbon footprint?)
Fortunately, calculating your personal footprint takes only a couple of minutes, and offsetting your carbon footprint is easier than ever before. Take responsibility. Act with us now by calculating your footprint above.
What Is Earth Overshoot Day and Why Does It Matter?
Each year, we produce more carbon emissions that the world can handle. Scientists call this the “Earth Overshoot Day.” It happens every year. (Check out the definition of ecological footprint below.) It’s the day when we’ve used up all the resources the planet can renew in a year… and since 1970, we’ve exceeded it every year. In fact, right now, it takes ‘1.75 Earths’ to meet the ecological demands we currently use every year.
And, did you know… Recent evidence indicates that global warming is occurring “ten times faster” than an ice age can recover from? Shockingly, “carbon dioxide from human activity is increasing more than 250 times faster” than before!
What Exactly Is a “Carbon Footprint?” How Does Calculating My Carbon Footprint Help Heal the Planet?
Your carbon footprint measures how much carbon dioxide you produce by going about your daily life. Put in other terms, it measures the harmful greenhouse gases you’ve generated.
Like a footprint in the sand, it’s a personal, unique signature of your impact on this planet.
But that doesn’t actually address the real problem at hand: ongoing deforestation in the planet’s most prized ecosystem: the Amazon Rainforest. There is an ecological price to pay as well for the electricity you use and the fuel your burn. Your footprint doesn’t just harm the environment. It can also harm ecosystems and endangered species in forest systems. These Amazon ecosystems are often completely destroyed to make room for palm oil farms to keep up with increasing carbon consumption demands of goods and services.
Being aware of your individual carbon emissions and the ecological debt you’re contributing to is necessary before you can work on eliminating them. The great thing is, you have full control over both your carbon footprint and your ecological footprint! Once you’ve used our powerful carbon calculator to determine your individual footprint, offsetting is the easy part!
Try Out Specific Calculators and Read More About Your Ecological Footprint:
Why Should You Care About Your Carbon and Ecological Footprint? Learn How You Compare to the Average American
If you’re an average American, your output of carbon dioxide is roughly 22 US tons per year, or 20 metric tons. That’s a lot of carbon. How Much Carbon? 3 adult elephants. Let that sink in.
Compare that number to someone in Madagascar, where the average carbon footprint is 0.16 tons per year. Or, Japan where the number is approximately nine tons per year. A general rule of thumb is that wealthy nations contribute most to the problem. Yet, Madagascar who contributes so little to the problem is ranked by the 2018 Global Climate Risk Index as fourth in the world most vulnerable to climate change. The United States ranks 12th and Japan is number 1.
Whether your country is last on the list or first in terms of ecological impact, climate change is having a devastating impact on all of us. While each human being has a moral, humanitarian imperative to help mitigate the climate crisis, if you are in a country that contributes the most to the problem, you likely have the greatest opportunity—and the most to do—to help fix it.
Environmental Impact: Measure Using the Best Carbon Footprint Calculator Methodology Available
In order to understand your environmental impact, you can measure your footprint using any number of carbon calculators online, but are they really all the same? While many of them can tell you what your carbon impact is, very few also include data about your ecological footprint. You’ll need to examine some areas of your daily life, like how much you drive, what kinds of foods you eat, and how much electricity you use.
But the calculation should also account for the damage the carbon is causing to the environment. This is done by calculating the impact of habitat loss through reckless deforestation.
Understanding What Daily Activities Calculate Your Carbon Footprint (Carbon Emissions Calculator)
Naturally, some activities produce more carbon emissions than others. When calculating your footprint, you’ll need to examine a number of factors in your daily life. And all these activities can add up very fast. For example, how often do you eat out? How many long hot showers do you take each month? Everything has its own unique footprint.
When Calculating Your Carbon Footprint, Don’t Forget These Emission Generators
Here’s just a few of the carbon-heavy behaviors and activities covered in any good carbon calculator:
Transportation habits (carbon footprint travel)—how much you travel, the number of vehicles you own and their gas mileage rates, and how often you fly and where.
Utility usage—gas, electric and water usage ranks high among the carbon generators, especially electricity since the majority is generated by coal.
Household information—the size of your home, the number of people who live there and where it’s located.
Consumer habits—Shopping for clothes and all the other things that prompt us to grab our wallets have a carbon footprint.
Waste habits—recycling and composting can reduce your impact by lowering the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and oceans.
Dining Out–Eating at home really saves on the Co2 you make.
Eating Meats and Dairy Often–Eating meats and dairy products for every meal really ratchets up your footprint. According to Our World Data, food production is responsible for 26% of GHG emissions and 31% of that comes from livestock production and fisheries. This figure does not include the land use or supply chain numbers, so the impact is actually much greater. Our world data reported that “Livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, yet produces less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories.”Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle helps reduce carbon emissions. But, you can also make a difference by omitting meat from just one meal a day.
Poor efficiency in household appliances, heat & air–These emissions generators not only harm the planet, they drain your wallet as well!
Other things like frequent road trips, excessively long showers, and owning a pet can also push your footprint higher.
After you enter your data, carbon calculators give you a snapshot of your lifestyle and consequently, an estimate of your carbon footprint. Incidentally, all of these generators also show you where you can make the most difference in your life to lower your carbon footprint.
How to Find the Best Greenhouse Gas Calculator, Carbon Counter and Ecological Footprint Calculator
Fortunately, there are a ton of resources you can use to determine your impact on the environment. The following are just a few.
EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator
This detailed worksheet measures your footprint down to the number of lights you have in your house, and is updated every year.
The technology that makes our lives easier costs the planet. Every time you text, email, or surf the internet and check out social media, you’re increasing your footprint. Fortunately, you can offset the carbon emissions generated by your daily commute and the time on your smartphone once you’ve calculated it..
The calculator offers a general overview of your total personal footprint.
What Does Your Ecological Footprint Measure? (Ecological Footprint Example and Average Ecological Footprint)
Some people confuse an ecological footprint with a carbon footprint. The truth is that although they both measure environmental impact, they measure different aspects. An ecological footprint can be measured for individuals, your city, your country or region, or the entire planet. But unlike the carbon footprint, this metric deals with measuring the planet’s resources, and how much of them are consumed by the ‘demand’ of existence.
What Does Your Ecological Footprint Measure?
The Earth has a renewable ‘supply’ of resources, or “biocapacity.” But, the ecological footprint measures an individual’s or a population’s demand for that biocapacity.
For example, the plants we use for food and materials (like clothing and other fibers), and other products like fish and cattle, and the materials used for buildings, such as wood represent the demand. It also includes the land space needed for people to live in urban areas, as well as the forests needed to sequester the carbon generated by fossil fuels.
The difference between the bio-capacity an area has and the ecological footprint the area uses is called either a ‘reserve’ or a deficit.’ Reserve is good, it means we aren’t using everything up… deficit is bad, it means we’re deleting the earth of renewable resources now, and there will not be any later.
Earth’s ‘Overshoot Day’ is the day when the total global deficit is greater than the planet’s biocapacity. Sadly, that deficit has been going on now for over 40 years, and every year, it continues. But… humans have begun working toward removing that deficit, now that the knowledge is available.
Is a Green Footprint the Same as a Global Footprint? What Is the Average Ecological Footprint? What’s My Ecological Footprint?
Green footprint is similar to the ecological footprint, but more specific. A green footprint measures the impact of building on the environment. This applies especially to large projects that may damage delicate ecosystems.
The Global Footprint Network is a non-profit, multinational organization that develops and promotes tools for forwarding sustainability, which basically works to remove the deficit between the Earth’s ecological footprint and its biocapacity.
Although ecological footprints and biocapacities vary from region to region, according to data sources, the “world-averageecologicalfootprint was 2.75 global hectares per person and the average biocapacity was 1.63 global hectares. This means there is a global deficit of 1.1 global hectares per person.”
Make a Difference: Easy Ways to Change the Way You Live, Work, and Play
Now that you know what your carbon footprint is, and the things in your life that contribute to the deficit of your ecological footprint, you can start changing those routines to help the environment. One great way to eliminate the carbon you’re generating every day is to support carbon offset programs that plant and protect existing forests. Trees absorb 200 tons of carbon dioxide every second!
These sorts of ‘carbon credits’ are extremely easy to buy, and they not only sequester the carbon for specific tasks (or for your overall lifestyle), some like 8 Billion Trees work to rehabilitate wildlife and restore slashed and burned areas of the rainforest, rebuilding ecosystems for the future.
So, don’t wait… calculate your carbon footprint, then start offsetting your footprint today!