Personal Carbon Footprint
Personal Carbon Footprint
Carbon emissions are considered as playing a great role in the growing problem on climate change (Merti, 2008). As such, it is important for people to determine or have an idea of their personal carbon footprint so that they may be better informed of how they can contribute to the solution or prevention of this climate change problem. According to Kentucky writer Nancy Grant, author of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Your Carbon Footprint, “Understanding that you have a carbon footprint and some of the major components of it is an excellent way to start thinking through one's energy use” (as cited in Merti, 2008, p. G11).
For this paper, the writer used the Carbon Footprint Calculator developed by Carbon Footprint, Ltd. (n.d.) for determining his personal carbon footprint. For this calculator, the writer entered his energy consumption for his household and transportation needs as well as for the other things related to his lifestyle.
As shown in Appendix A, my total house footprint is 1.02 metric tons of Carbon emissions. More specifically, the calculator showed that I have 0.97 metric tons of carbon emissions from the use of electricity; 0.03 metric tons of carbon emissions from my natural gas use; 0.01 metric tons of carbon emissions for my heating oil use; and 0.01 metric tons of carbon emissions for my LPG use. To further break down my electricity consumption, I calculated this by estimating my energy use for the various appliances in my home. This breakdown can be seen below:
Transportation Carbon Footprint
I usually don’t make out-of-state trips, which means that I don’t have carbon emissions from traveling by plane. I also don’t have a car nor a motorbike. To travel, I usually take a cab. As such, my total bus and rail footprint is 0.01 metric tons of carbon emission, with the breakdown shown in Appendix B.
Secondary Carbon Footprint
My secondary carbon footprint consists of the carbon emissions that result from my lifestyle, which include the types of food I eat, my shopping habits, the things I use, the types of recreation I engage in, and the types of financial services I avail of. Based on the Carbon Footprint calculator’ computations, my total secondary footprint is 5.79 metric tons of carbon emissions. The breakdown is shown in Appendix C.
In total, my personal carbon footprint is 6.81 metric tons of CO2e. Below is a summary and breakdown of this total:
According to Carbon Footprint Ltd. (n.d.), the average footprint for people in the US is 20.40 metric tons while the average for industrial nations is about 11 metric tons and the average worldwide is about 4 tons.
I think that I am able to keep my personal carbon footprint lower than these averages because I tend to use and purchase only the things I need. Right now, I am really just focused on my studies, which means that I do not spend too much time on recreation. I always just stay at home when I’m not in school. I also make sure that all lights and faucets are turned off in my home when they are not in use. As well, I try to save on my finances by not spending on unnecessary things.
Carbon Footprint, Ltd. (n.d.). Carbon footprint calculator. Retrieved from
Merti, S. (2008, August 22). Want to calculate your personal carbon footprint?
Web-based calculators tally emissions, The Hamilton Spectator, p. G11.
Appendix A: Household Carbon Footprint
Figure 1Secondary Carbon Footprint