The average household in the United States emits almost 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. That is about the same weight as 10 adult African elephants.
Earth Day is tomorrow, and at this time of the year, many of us are thinking about those kinds of facts. We wonder how we can personally help the climate by reducing our individual impacts.
A simple internet search will yield a laundry list of actions that may be overwhelming, and often will be far less than satisfying. You may find suggestions that are not indicative of the actual size of your impact (turning off your lights versus not flying from east to west coast, for example – they are not equivalent). You may also find information that is irrelevant to your specific lifestyle (for example, the recommendation to cut out meat when you are already a vegetarian).
Because each of our lives is unique (click here to see how carbon footprints vary by zip code), we really need to have a good understanding of our personal and professional impacts on the climate before we can determine good actions to take, and choices to make, to reduce those impacts.
Here is a table with some great resources, to help you get started:
|Calculate your carbon footprint AND determine specific actions you can take to reduce your impact||Use this calculator to:|
1. Determine your personal carbon footprint (broken down by travel, housing, food, goods, and services)
2. Develop your unique action plan tailored to your personal impacts (includes emissions saved, dollars saved, and upfront costs)
|Use this calculator to:|
1. Determine your business carbon footprint (broken down by travel, facilities, and procurement)
2. Develop your unique action plan tailored to your business impacts (includes emissions saved, dollars saved, and upfront costs)
|Make better choices||Learn how to save energy and money at home, on the move, at the store, in the yard, at the curb, and at work|
|Learn how to be more energy efficient at home, in buildings, and in plants, and to buy more efficient products and new homes.|