Carbon Emissions Calculator: Includes a Free Report With Carbon Offsets

Two scientists measuring the emissions from an electric vehicle using a giant carbon emissions calculator in the right.

Using a carbon emissions calculator is an empowering tool. It can show you how to make more environmentally conscious choices in your everyday life, and it can give you a measurement and method for going completely net zero in your life.

Carbon Emissions Calculator

Because any small change made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is a win for the planet.

This carbon emissions calculator takes into account a number of factors, including your household habits, transportation methods, diet, and more, and even better, it delivers a free report about your personal emissions so you can take action now to reduce them.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “what is my ecological footprint,’ the free report can tell you.

And using this carbon emissions calculator is easy, once you know what each piece of data means for your personal carbon emissions.

Carbon Emissions Factor #1: Your Location

The city and country you live in has a greater impact on your carbon footprint than you might think. On the individual, corporate, and government levels, different nations around the world are responsible for varying levels of carbon emissions.

China, which spews over twice the amount of CO2 of the U.S., and the U.S. often rank at the top.1 That is based on country emissions, but when the per capita amounts of greenhouse gas is divided among the population, those numbers shift. Basically, because of China’s larger population, the massive amount of CO2 gets spread out.

But, to put that divide into perspective, U.S. households make up 20% of annual global emissions, while comprising only 4% of the global population.2

This is why it’s so important for developed nations like the U.S. to reduce emissions by household, and why many countries are adopting GHG protocol.

Whether your area is urban, suburban, or rural also carries some weight.

Research done at the University of California, Berkeley shows that city-dwellers have only a quarter of the carbon impact of their suburban counterparts (thanks to public transportation, smaller housing, etc.).2

Suburbs tend to have the largest impact due to lack of public transportation (and large distances between places within the same town) as well as larger, more-energy consuming households. The suburban/rural carbon footprint is significant enough that the suburbs of the biggest cities can often counteract the carbon progress made by the city itself. But ultimately, suburban households make up about 50% of the U.S. population and are responsible for about 50% of U.S. emissions.

Your country, location, and the local lifestyle are all contributing factors to your annual carbon emissions, so the footprint calculator determines location first.

Energy Sources

Another part of the location impact of carbon emissions is how the area’s energy is sourced. For example, while a large apartment dwelling in New York City may have a lower “per capita” emissions factor, it will be significantly higher than a rural dwelling of the same size that gets its electricity by green power or hydropower.

Because coal-burning electricity plants are more common in certain areas (and countries), someone who lives in an area with solar or hydro power will have a lower footprint than an identical person who gets their electricity from coal burning plants.

Carbon Emissions Factor #2: Energy Star Light Bulbs, Windows, and Appliances

A joint program of the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Star has been an effective mission to date. The program offers more energy-efficient light bulbs, windows, and appliances at a cheaper price.

In 2010, for example, Americans cumulatively avoided emitting the CO2 equivalent of 33 million cars while saving $18 Billion, all thanks to Energy Star.4

Energy Star products are widely available at retailers, and they include everything from energy-efficient light bulbs to refrigerators, computers, televisions, heating and cooling systems and more.

Screenshot of carbon emissions calculator step asking about Energy Star appliances.

Energy Star appliances not only lower your emissions, they also lower your electricity costs.

Energy Star-certified homes have even hit the market, automatically offering 10 percent more efficiency than the average American house, leading to a 20 percent carbon footprint improvement.

Whether you have these items in your home will impact the emissions you generate.

Carbon Emissions Factor #3: Type of Fuel Used for Heating and Cooling

Natural gas/fossil fuels are currently used to heat 57% of American homes, despite their hefty carbon impact. Solar-powered heating and cooling systems, heat pumps (powered by air), and electric heating systems (i.e. space heaters) are far more environmentally friendly, but are simply not the default.

Making small changes in your home, such as actively maintaining proper ventilation or installing a programmable thermostat, can cut down significantly on both your annual heating bill and your household’s CO2 emissions.

Moreover, investing in solar panels for your home can (over time) actually reduce your energy costs considerably.

Carbon Emissions Factor #4: Appliance and Laundry Habits

Washers and dryers use a sizable amount of energy and water per load, making laundry one of the least sustainable household tasks. But small changes can make all the difference. For instance, washing your clothes on the “cold” setting and drying them on a clothesline uses only 18% of the energy of a traditional load.5

There are other harmful appliance habits you may not even think about on a daily basis. For instance, turning off and unplugging your household appliances and electronics when they’re not in use, or even just when you’re away from home, can save you significantly on your energy bill as well as your annual carbon footprint.

Carbon Emissions Factor #5: Type and Number of Pets (If Any)

Pets, particularly dogs and cats, unfortunately may have a significant carbon footprint. A 2017 study found that America’s domesticated cats and dogs accounted for 25-30% of the nation’s meat-consumption-related environmental impact.6

However, the notion that pet impacts are quite so severe has been debunked, since animals typically consume byproducts from the production of meat for human consumption, meaning that this would only be a standalone problem if all humans were vegetarians. Moreover, pets tend to encourage some climate-friendly activities like walking and discourage environmentally destructive practices like air travel.7

Question about whether someone owns cats from a carbon emissions calculator.

Pet ownership can increase your carbon footprint.

Still, dogs and cats do produce waste and require often wasteful purchases–toys, litter, pee pee pads, etc. If anything, purchasing a small dog or cat that will consume less (or another pet like a reptile, bird, or hamster) may be worth considering if you’re looking to be extra climate careful.

Carbon Emissions Factor #6: Size of Home

The size of your home and the number of people living in it also has an impact on your carbon footprint, which makes sense. These factors directly correlate with your energy consumption–the energy required to heat and cool your home per person, your water and electricity use, and your home’s proximity to other places you go often are all direct contributors to your carbon footprint.

For instance, a large, suburban house with several people living in it will likely have a greater carbon impact than a small apartment housing one adult, without the full range of appliances, and located in a walkable community.

Carbon Emissions Factor #7: Transportation

It’s a well-known fact that carpooling or taking public transportation can vastly reduce your carbon footprint as opposed to driving everywhere alone. Moreover, the energy efficiency and size of your vehicle matters too, as well as the distances you’re often traveling.

In addition to everyday travel, owning a boat or frequently traveling by plane can also rack up a large carbon footprint. Commercial flights are responsible for 2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions,8 while privately-owned boats can account for anywhere from 5-21 pounds of CO2 emissions per gallon.9

Transportation screenshot from a carbon footprint calculator.

The emissions generated from transportation was approximately 7.3 billion metric tons in 2020.

Carbon Emissions Factor #8: Spending Habits

The goods and services you buy on a daily basis may contribute to your carbon footprint more than you think. When you buy cosmetics or clothing, for example, you’re contributing to some of the globe’s most ecologically destructive industries (fast fashion accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than shipping and aviation combined 10).

Even fuel for cross-country shipping and wasteful, non-recyclable packaging have a significant carbon footprint.

Interestingly enough, studies show that men spend, on average, about 70% more money on carbon-intensive products and activities (i.e. fuel for vehicles), so men in particular may need to keep an eye on the carbon footprint of their annual purchases.11

Carbon Emissions Factor #9: Diet and Eating Habits

Several food-related factors can impact your carbon footprint, including where you buy your food, how much of it goes to waste, and how often you eat out each week (eating out uses more energy for transportation and contributes to more waste from excess food/packaging 13).

The amount of animal products you consume can also have an environmental impact, as the animal agriculture industry is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, studies have shown that switching to a vegan diet can save 1.5 tons of carbon per year, more than switching to a hybrid car.12

Veganism cuts down on methane and nitrous oxide emissions as well, and reduces water consumption significantly–nearly half of all water used in the U.S. annually goes towards raising animals for food.

So if you’re looking to cut down on your carbon footprint, consider switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet, and/or shopping for locally grown foods, and wasting as little food as possible. And if you’re someone who loves to get their midnight snacks, availing of carbon offset programs like midnight snacker carbon offset will help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Carbon Emissions Factor #10: Beliefs about Climate Change

The final factor included in a carbon emissions calculator is your personal beliefs about climate change. If you’re a firm believer that climate change is real and that systemic change is essential to reversing its effects, you’re far more likely to pay close attention to your lifestyle habits’ environmental impact.

The first step to reducing your carbon footprint is accepting responsibility, doing your research, and taking action.

Your Results Report and Carbon Offsets

After you answer the carbon footprint calculator questions, your results report will show you how you rank globally and the exact number of tons of carbon you’re responsible for emitting annually. You’re also provided with the exact number of trees you’d need to plant to offset your personal carbon footprint.

Businesses can also figure up their emissions totals using a business carbon footprint calculator. It’s an effective way to see ways to make changes now that will lower your impact.

This number is empowering as it shows you where you’re personally responsible and the quantifiable change you’d need to make to reverse that responsibility. Plus, it can highlight some areas where you can reduce your emissions.

Plus, with tree planting carbon offsets, you can actually erase your footprint for an entire year. The trees will continue to help heal the planet and restore the natural habitats that the environment sorely needs.

We hope you’ll take the challenge to measure your own carbon footprint using our carbon emissions calculator, and take action towards neutralizing that footprint today!


1Ritchie, Hannah. 2022. Our World In Data. CO2 Emissions. 16 February 2022. Web. <>

2Konkel, Lindsey. 8 January 2014. Location, Location, Lifestyle Determines Global Warming Pollution. Scientific American. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

3DeWeert, Sarah. 11 February 2020. Your carbon footprint may have more to do with your wealth than your location. Anthropocene Mag. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

4Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ENERGY STAR. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

5Ro, Christine. 27 March 2020. The hidden impact of your daily water use. BBC. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

6Bottollier-Depois, Amélie. 20 March 2021. Carbon pawprint: is man’s best friend the planet’s enemy? PsyOrg. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

7McMahon, Jeff. 2 August 2017. Dogs, Cats And Climate Change: What’s Your Pet’s Carbon Pawprint? Forbes. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

8Pruitt-Young, Sharon. 6 October 2021. You can now search for flights on Google based on carbon emissions. NPR. 21  December 2021. Web. <>

9Carbon Footprint. Sailors for the Sea. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

10Climate Council. 25 May 2021. Fast Fashion Needs to Slow Down for Climate Change. Climate Council. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

11Hernandez, Joe. 21 July, 2021. Men’s Spending Habits Result In More Carbon Emissions Than Women’s, A Study Finds. NPR. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

12Veganism & The Environment: By the Numbers. 21 December 2021. Web. <>

13Leibenluft, Jacob. 18 November 2008. An Order of Lo Mein With a Side of Guilt. Slate. 22 December 2021. Web. <>