Yesterday, my neighbors goaded me into calculating my household’s “carbon footprint.” This is an estimate of the carbon dioxide emissions generated directly at the household level (based on utility bills, car mileage, etc.).
First, the bad news: my household spews out an estimated 22.35 tons of CO2 per year! And this does not even take into account the odd cord or two of firewood we burn in our wood stove. It also does not take into account any emissions by my office, my business travel, or the kids’ school.
And, in the good news/bad news department: our number is the lowest of all our neighborhood!
We used a calculator supplied by a local activist group. The group is calling upon each of us to compensate for our excessive energy consumption by buying “Carbon Offsets.” In order to become “carbon-neutral” and guilt-free, my suggested donation is $670.50 annually. If only all my sins could be atoned for so simply!
For a generic carbon footprint calculator that works in all regions of the country, see http://www.carbonfootprint.com.