Ever wonder what your carbon footprint is?  Environmentalism is something everyone is talking about.  Being eco-friendly might not only be something that is trendy, but something necessary as global warming has been proven, and it is no question that we are nearing the point to where we cannot rectify the problems we have caused here on planet earth.

At this point, I am not going to try to convince you to live a greener life.  The media has been doing a pretty good job of doing so already.  Eco-friendly cars, house-cleaners, etc. have been out and growing in popularity.  NGOs and other organizations have been hard at work spreading information and gathering people together to decrease water usage, energy usage, fuel usage, general consumption, and more

Living a greener life does not mean drastically changing your lifestyle, although even the most environmentally conscious will tell you one can always improve.  One of the first steps to take to understanding the mark that you individually are leaving on this earth is to take a look at your carbon footprint.  This can be done though many websites.  Here are two popular and reputable ones:

http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/

http://www.myfootprint.org/

I have personally taken each of these assessments.  The Global Footprint Network calculator said that we would need 4.2 planets if everyone lived like me.  I thought this was surprising because I recycle whenever possible, eat locally, and bike and walk mostly for daily transportation.  It would take 20.3 global acres of the Earth’s productive area (21.4 tons of carbon dioxide). My ecological breakdown is very service heavy, then food, then shelter, and least goods and mobility. If I used solar panels to power my entire dormitory building, we would only need 3.5 Earths.

The first of these quizzes is a lot more fun than the less interactive My Carbon Footprint quiz, but both take different factors into account, formulating different results.

It is also harder to calculate the number of hours driven per year than per week.  I have a feeling these results will be different.  This quiz does ask about leaving lights on and such which the other quiz did not.

There are also no blending options when it comes to food.  I personally go to a farmers’ market once a week but also have a small meal plan.  The second quiz does not take such factors into account.

In the second quiz, I scored 3.51 Earths.  Now it’s your turn!  Check out your carbon footprint, and see what you could do to lower that number today.

-TravelBug

I’m reading Introductory Algebra: Concepts & Graphs

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