Travel Carbon Footprint Calculator: Flights, Rental Car, Hotel

Man standing on a yellow car looks at planet earth with carbon footprint clouds above it and travel dashed lines and wonders how to use a travel carbon footprint calculator.

Traveling from one part of the planet has never been easier, but using a travel carbon footprint calculator can help you measure the emissions you’re generating during the trip.

Flights, rental cars, and hotel stays mean that you’re generating additional emissions with each step, but thankfully, it’s easy to erase them using an international flying carbon offset or another program to eliminate the extra cost to the planet.

Reducing the carbon emissions from entire countries is at the top of the agenda of every international agency, and every individual carbon footprint calculator employed can help people recognize and erase the emissions from travel.

Why Calculate Your Travel Carbon Footprint?

With knowledge comes the ability to make a change.

Being aware of the need to calculate your travel carbon footprint even before heading to the airport can help in controlling the greenhouse gas emissions about to be generated even before you start the journey to catch your flight.

By using a free carbon footprint calculator, a decision on how to get to the airport can be decided, whether by car, by coach, or by public transport.

Each of them has its own carbon footprint, but they are far from equal in their carbon emissions.

And, by using a road trip carbon offset or flying international carbon offset, you can erase the emissions from the trip.

Travel Carbon Footprint Calculator: (Personal Carbon Footprint Calculator) Flights, Rental Car, and Hotel

Circumstances that affect the travel carbon footprint calculator from the point of leaving your home to get to the airport to arriving at your intended destination, are distance, transportation method, and even the amount of people traveling in the car, bus, or coach.

Filling in a carbon footprint questionnaire helps to answer a few questions that are not always in an online carbon footprint calculator.

Mode of Transport Distance Traveled CO2e Per km Per Passenger
Car: Small
Car: Medium
Car: Large
Car: Electric
30 km
30 km
30 km
30 km
96 CO2e per km
171 CO2e per km
197 CO2e per km
53 CO2e per km
Motorcycle 30 km 103 CO2e per km
Bus 30 km 105 CO2e per km
Train 30 km 41 CO2e per km
Plane – Domestic
Plane – International
500 km
3700 km
255 CO2e per km
150 CO2e per km

When all the CO2e numbers are added up, the approximate carbon footprint from traveling a short distance to the airport can be calculated.

The results from your car’s CO2 emissions per km can vary depending on the age of the vehicle, the fuel efficiency of the engine, whether it is petrol or diesel, or if it is a hybrid.

It is also important to note that when you calculate the carbon footprint of your flight, for shorter flights, less fuel-efficient aircraft are frequently used and most of the fuel burned that generates the carbon emissions are created on take-off and landing.

Air Travel Carbon Footprint Calculator

It is now more crucial than ever to keep track of and record carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere as domestic and international flights have become more affordable and more available.

The global urgency to reduce climate change has accelerated rapidly in the last decade among governments and companies who have recognized that offset programs need to be initiated as soon and as widely as possible.

Individuals across the planet are also taking responsibility for their actions by using carbon footprint flight calculators online to measure the impact they personally are having on the planet.

But not all calculators are as accurate as one would hope.

Environmental NGOs, international trade organizations, government departments, and environmental agencies, as well as carbon offset corporations, have created a wide variety of calculators.

This has been highlighted by the BP carbon footprint calculator which is misleading since it ignores a lot of factors that affect your carbon footprint.

Unfortunately, as no two approaches are the same, this results in an inconsistency between calculators due to the data inputted and the sophistication of the program.

The results from a carbon footprint calculator can therefore only estimate the CO2 emissions per flight per person, but that estimation is close enough for an individual to be aware of the changes they can make to affect their greenhouse gas emissions.

Calculate the Carbon Footprint of Your Flight: Travel Carbon Footprint Calculator

Due to differences in the programs used in the travel carbon footprint calculator technique, various greenhouse gas emissions calculators produce very different values for the same flight.

For instance, according to two independent emissions calculators, the emissions for a round-trip flight from London to New York would be either 1.53 or 3.48 billion tons of carbon dioxide, a difference of more than twice as much.

This discrepancy demonstrates that there needs to be an international standardization of these calculators to reflect our carbon emissions more accurately.

Undoubtedly, the carbon footprint calculation will have a degree of variance due to the type of plane, its age, the exact number of passengers, and even the weight of the luggage on board.

There are many variables to be taken into account for a free online CO2 emissions per flight calculator, but the important thing at the moment is that the results they are giving are sufficient for an individual to determine if small lifestyle changes can be made to protect the planet.

Only 2.5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions come from aviation. But if you do fly, air travel will account for a substantially bigger portion of your individual carbon footprint.

The Best Carbon Footprint Calculator for Students

One of the best carbon footprint calculator for students available is the CoolClimate calculator. It is easy to use not only for students but also is an excellent carbon footprint calculator for business.

It covers virtually all modes of transport separately, as well as combined for a trip where different transportation methods will be utilized and it is aimed at the youth of today who have a stake in reversing climate change to ensure a cleaner future.

To calculate the carbon emissions from car traveling, their online travel carbon footprint calculators will have questions such as

  • Where do you live?
  • How many passengers traveling in the car?
  • Type of car?
  • Size of the engine?
  • Petrol or diesel?
  • Hybrid or electric?
  • Age of the vehicle?
  • Distance traveled?

Carbon Footprint Calculator for Kids

More children are becoming aware that greenhouse gases are degrading the atmosphere and are having a global impact, an impact that is altering the quality of life around the planet.

And just like adults, they want to reduce their carbon footprint.

The ways in which kids can help are going to be different than their parents, and the questions on the carbon calculators have to reflect that.

What Kind of Food Do You Eat the Most?

  • Fast Food……….Every day……………Once a week………..Never………….
  • Vegetables………Every day……………Once a week………..Never………….
  • Fruits…………….Every day……………Once a week………..Never………….
  • Salads……………Every day……………Once a week………..Never………….
  • Meat………………Every day……………Once a week………..Never………….

How Do You Get to School?

By bus…………………………..
By Car…………………………..
By bicycle……………………..

How Do You Travel Out of State?

By train………………………………
By car……………………………….
By Plane…………………………….
By bus/coach………………………
I have never left the state……….

Do You Drink a Lot of Soda?

Once a day…………………………
Several times a day………………
Once a week………………………
A few times a week……………………
Never. I only drink water.…………….

Do You Leave the Water Running or Turn It Off?

I always shut it off ………………….
I always forget………………………

How Often Do You Take a Shower?

Every day……………………………
Twice a day…………………………
Every two days……………………
Only when I’m told to……………

When You Leave Your Room, Do You Turn Off the Lights?

I always forget…………………….
I always turn them off……………
Only when I’m told to……………

Carbon Footprint of Electric Cars vs Gasoline

For anyone who wonders what is the carbon footprint of electric cars vs gasoline, know that an average family car’s direct emissions are measured from out of the tailpipe as the engine burns the fuel used to power it. Fuel evaporation is also factored into the carbon emissions whether when refueling or on engine startup.

In contrast, there are no direct emissions from all-electric vehicles. When operating exclusively on electricity they emit no direct emissions, and this is a clear indication that when it comes to climate protection, electric is far superior.

Having complete zero-emission cars on the roads is a goal many countries are striving for in the coming decades ahead and are slowly phasing out the gas guzzlers. But even electric vehicles have carbon footprints. Take as an example the Prius carbon footprint.

One of the ways that these footprints are created is from the source of power. Charging by a plug-in electricity source is going to have a carbon impact because the electricity itself is going to be ultimately produced by fossil fuels or natural gas.

A possible solution to eliminate that particular chunk from the footprint would be to install solar panels at your house and charge your shiny new Prius from there.

Carbon Footprint for Space Travel

Exploring the outer reaches of space is never far from the headlines as man seeks to extend his presence throughout the galaxy, both for scientific explorations and for the coming space tourism revolution.

But while those lofty goals elevate the vision of humanity as we look towards the stars, back on planet Earth the ozone layer is taking a battering.

The reason why the ozone layer is at a greater risk of being depleted compared to carbon emissions from planes or cars is that rockets release black carbon into the stratosphere as they blast off into space.

Normally black carbon generated from the burning of fossil fuels ascends up into the ozone layer at lower levels but rapidly falls from the sky after only a few days or weeks.

When the departing rockets deposit the black carbon on their way out into space, the pollutant it leaves in its wake hangs around for up to four years, soaking up sunlight and radiating heat.

The health of the ozone layer, which is crucial in protecting life on Earth, is being choked and eroded by these black carbon deposits. Further damage is caused because these black spots absorb the intense rays from the sun, and then direct that intense thermal energy back toward the ground.

And this cycle can last a long time after the rocket has returned.

According to recent studies, these black carbon emissions stay in the stratosphere for up to four years and have an impact on the climate almost 500 times greater than those carbon emissions closer to the earth’s surface.

It’s fair to say that unless space travel becomes more carbon-neutral in the near future, the international initiatives and goals agreed upon by governments to curb global warming are going to fail.

How To Calculate Carbon Footprint Manually

An online travel carbon footprint calculator is not the only method of estimating your greenhouse gas emissions. From the formula below it is possible to manually calculate your monthly carbon footprint.

Monthly Bill / Expense / Action Multiply by / Add by
Electricity bill Multiply by 105
Gas bill Multiply by 105
Oil bill Multiply by 113
Yearly car mileage Multiply by .79
Number of flights in last 4 years(less than 4 hours duration) Multiply by 1,100
Number of flights in last 4 years(more than 4 hours duration) Multiply by 4,400
Do not recycle newspapers Add 184
Do not recycle aluminum Add 166
Total carbon footprint

Audi CO2 Emissions Calculator

There can be no contesting the fact that fossil fuel-burning cars are damaging the ozone layer by the inordinate amount of CO2 emissions being churned up by the engines and pushed out of the tailpipe into the atmosphere.

Measuring gasoline consumption is the most straightforward method for calculating CO2 emissions from those millions of tailpipes. To figure out how much CO2 is being produced, it is simply a matter of adding up your gasoline expenses in each monthly period.

Diesel-burning engines produce 2.62 kg of carbon dioxide, while a gasoline-powered engine has a slightly lower carbon content and produces 2.39 kg of CO2. To manually calculate the CO2 emissions for a month, a formula of multiplying the fuel consumed by 19.6 gives an accurate reading.

Studies have demonstrated that cars constantly driving on highways contribute to the atmosphere’s annual emission absorption of roughly 1.4 billion tons of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

An average car emits 20 pounds of GHG for every gallon of fuel, meaning that that typical family vehicle emits between 5 to 9 tons of GHG annually. But that can vary across different models of the same make of car.

With the growing demand for EVs, there are now car carbon emissions calculators available online, like the Audi CO2 emissions calculator. But, let’s take a few models of Audi and the Ford ranger CO2 emissions as an example.

Manufacturer Model Official MPG Official CO2 g/km
Audi A4 35 Saloon 4Dr 2.0TFSI 160 SS Technik 58.90 125g/km
Audi A4 35 4Dr 2.0TFSI 150 SS Sport Edition 44.80 142g/km
Audi A4 4Dr 2.0TFSI 150 SS Line 41.50 154g/km
Audi A4 4Dr 2.0TFDI 163 SS S Line 54.30 137g/km
Audi A4 40 Quatro 2.0TFDI 204 SS Sport Edition 48.70 139g/km
Audi A4 35 4Dr 2.0TFSI 150 SS Black Edition 40.90 156g/km
Audi A435 4 Dr 2.0TFDI 160 SS Black Edition 53.30 138g/km
Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue 4X4 Automatic / 170 hp 30.50 197g/km
Ford Ranger 3.2 Duratorq TDCI 4X4 / 200 hp 26.40 219g/km
Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue 4X4 170 hp 32.70 179g/km
Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue 4X4 Automatic / 213 hp 30.20 233g/km
Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCI / 160 hp 34.10 182g/km
Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCI Automatic / 160 hp 29.40 209g/km

Offset Your Calculated Total Footprint

Your carbon footprint is the accumulation of the greenhouse gases you produce living your life on a daily basis, gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. But there is a way to redress the balance.

This method is called carbon offsetting, or carbon sequestration, and there are companies and initiatives around the globe that have started projects to soften the hard carbon footprints we are all making to various degrees.

These specific initiatives either reduce CO2 emissions or “sequester” the carbon dioxide, meaning that some CO2 emissions will be removed from the atmosphere by such methods as reforestation, and the development of renewable energy, whether wind farms, solar panels, or water turbines.

One of the most common projects used to generate carbon offsets is the rewarding act of planting new trees, and reforestation.

This type of initiative is funded by individuals or companies or third parties who purchase these carbon offset credits to counteract their personal or professional greenhouse gas emissions in another part of the world.

Before buying these carbon offset certificates, it is important to calculate the emissions of CO2 being generated by either individual actions or a company’s practices, to evaluate how many certificates need to be bought to negate that carbon footprint.

Another option to reduce carbon emissions at the source is to adjust the way a business is run or the way an individual goes about their daily lives, and just a few minimal adjustments can make a big difference.

  1. Make a home energy audit. This will demonstrate the areas where energy is wasted and help you find solutions to consume less energy.
  2. Change fluorescent bulbs to LEDs.
  3. Switch off lights when not needed and unplug devices when not in use.
  4. Eat produce sourced locally to eliminate CO2 emissions from transportation.
  5. Try to reduce food waste in your household.
  6. Walk or cycle more instead of driving short distances.
  7. When upgrading your car, buy a hybrid or an electric version.
  8. Take flights that are non-stop if possible to avoid excess carbon emissions from take-offs and landings from connecting flights to your destination.
  9. Install solar panels.
  10. Use less paper and go digital as often as possible.

Small lifestyle adjustments and the use of carbon offset programs can significantly reduce the climatic damage we are all responsible for.

The best way to monitor our carbon footprints and determine how we can all contribute to the solution to climate change rather than being part of the problem is to use a travel carbon footprint calculator: flights, rental car, and hotel when the next holiday season comes around.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Carbon Footprint Calculator

What Is a Carbon Footprint?

Are you wondering, what is a carbon footprint? Carbon footprint is the sum of all greenhouse gas emissions from individuals or organizations that produce carbon dioxide or methane; released through the burning of fossil fuels, manufacturing processes, and food production and consumption.

What Does Emissions Mean When Booking a Flight?

When booking flights, it is possible to know the carbon emissions about to be generated through a travel carbon footprint calculator that will estimate the emissions produced from the fuel to be burned, the passengers on board, the CO2 emissions by aircraft type, and the speed of the aircraft throughout the journey.

What Is the Plane CO2 Emissions per Km (Plane CO2 Emissions per Mile)?

If the plane was a Boeing 737-400 traveling at 780 km/h (484.64 miles), the CO2e per passenger per hour would be 90 kg CO2. With 164 passengers that would be approximately 14,760 CO2e per km for the entire plane.

What Is the Carbon Footprint Driving vs Flying?

A car emits roughly 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the EPA. In contrast, an economy round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles is forecasted from the aviation CO2 emissions statistics to emit 0.62 tons of CO2 per passenger.

What Are the Ways on How To Find Out CO2 Emissions for My Van?

When you’re looking into how to find out CO2 emissions for my van, know that many automobile manufacturers have started to include CO2 calculators on their websites, so if you cannot find your particular make and model on a generic carbon online calculator, feel free to refer to their website to learn about the fuel usage and emissions of your van or light commercial vehicle.