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60: Carbon calculators


Many people would like to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but have no easy way to measure them and guide their actions.


Portable CO2 calculators

In 1996, William E. Rees and his PhD student Swiss-born Mathis Wackernagel at the University of British Columbia, Canada published their solution for calculating this in a book “Our Ecological Footprint”, now available in English, Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, and Spanish.

Wackernagel went on to set up a Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank with offices in Oakland, California; Brussels, Belgium, and Geneva, Switzerland. The think-tank is a non-profit that focuses on developing and promoting metrics for sustainability.

For calculating personal carbon footprints, several online carbon footprint calculators are now available.

These websites ask you to answer more or less detailed questions about your diet, transportation choices, home size, shopping and recreational activities, usage of electricity, heating, and heavy appliances such as dryers and refrigerators, and so on. The website then estimates your carbon footprint based on your answers to these questions.

Here are just some:

Do you know of other carbon calculators? Use the Comments to let us know.

What you can do: Keep on checking your own carbon footprint. 

Discover Solution 61: Iceland’s carbon fix

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