Know Your Footprint
According the The Union of Concerned Scientists, the average carbon emissions per person in the United States is 17.62 mT per person, or the equivalent to keeping 3.7 passenger cars on the road for a year. Our carbon footprints come from a variety of sources including the following:
Additional carbon emissions come from the energy and materials used to produce the products we buy.
How It All Works
Our carbon footprint is the sum total of how our everyday activities impact the environment. It’s measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). CO2 is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases. Understanding how big your carbon footprint is—or how much your lifestyle impacts the environment—is a key first step in living sustainably. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
Think of it in terms of getting a diagnosis of high cholesterol when you visit your doctor.
- Your doctor does a blood test to measure your cholesterol levels. (Carbon Footprint Calculator)
- If your cholesterol is high, the first thing you might do is try to lower it by changing your lifestyle, with things like exercising more or eating healthier. (Recycling, walking, using less electricity, etc.)
- If that’s not enough, you might also need to take medicine to help control your high cholesterol. (Carbon Offsets)