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Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States of America
Posts: 239
Good Answers: 2

What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/11/2007 10:10 AM

I am hoping that our CR4 audience will be able to help me understand my "carbon footprint". I must confess that I feel as if I'm supposed to know what it is, but even with what I have read in the past, it is probably best to start the discussion under the assumption that I know nothing of what the term means, what my current carbon footprint is, what it could be and what it should be. Thanks for contributing and I will continue to ask more questions as information is provided to this forum.

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Guru
Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: El Lago, Texas, USA
Posts: 2640
Good Answers: 65
#1

Re: What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/11/2007 10:48 AM

Your carbon footprint is simply an estimate of how much carbon dioxide your personal lifestyle is responsible for generating. There are a variety of calculators on the net.

The single largest reduction you can make in your carbon footprint is to switch electricity providers from coal and gas burning utilities to a wind and water based utility, like Greenmountain Energy.

Other things you can do -

use less gasoline

use less natural gas

eat less beef (a cow contributes more greenhouse gases than an SUV)

conserve energy generally

buy locally grown food

contribute to organizations that buy and preserve natural habitat, especially forests

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Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States of America
Posts: 239
Good Answers: 2
#2
In reply to #1

Re: What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/11/2007 10:56 AM

Thank you, bhankiii.

Could you (and others) please direct me to a good internet-based calculator?

Also, while I appreciate the suggestions you have made to reduce my carbon footprint, I am most interested in quantitative information. For example, your comment about a cow contributing more greenhouse gases than an SUV is very interesting and I would like to be able to share that information with others. But, first, I want to understand the facts behind the statement.

Regards,

Matt

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Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: On Top of the World
Posts: 79
#3
In reply to #2

Re: What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/11/2007 12:24 PM

http://www.earthlab.com/carbonProfile/LiveEarth.htm?ver=11

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Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
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#4

Re: What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/12/2007 5:29 PM

Better yet, since you are from Lenox, Mass, you can work to see that Yankee Rowe gets put back on-line. That would produce much more power than any wind/water utility ever could, with virtually zero carbon footprint.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States of America
Posts: 239
Good Answers: 2
#5
In reply to #4

Re: What is My Carbon Footprint?

07/18/2007 11:32 AM

Thank you for sharing your perspective, BSR. But, I am not interested (yet!) in how to reduce my carbon footprint. I just want to know what it is. How is it measured? What does it mean? Once I understand the concept and have some means to appreciate the impact of my life on the earth, maybe (MAYBE!) I can do something about it. Until then, it is just a mystery.

Some questions (as naive as they may be):

  1. How much of a carbon footprint is there in a gallon of gasoline?
  2. In burning a 75W bulb for an hour that is powered by a coal-fired power plant located 30 miles away.
  3. Do I have to calculate the carbon footprint for all my purchases and not just the cost of using them? For example, there is a carbon footprint involved in manufacturing a car in addition to the gasoline I consume while driving the car.
  4. Do I have to include a carbon footprint for the food I consume to account for the packaging and distribution activities involved in bringing those products to me?

I ask these questions because the link that was provided above did not provide me with the underlying relationships and assumptions used to calculate my carbon footprint. Again, it all seems to be a mystery.

If I am to make a commitment to reducing my carbon footprint, I need to know why it matters, how it matters and explicitly what I have to do to make a difference. I believe others want to know the same information.

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Users who posted comments:

bhankiii (1); Brave Sir Robin (1); MillMatt (2); Mousejockey (1)

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