What is my environmental footprint?

Ecological Footprint Summary

Total Ecological Footprint

10 (Acres)

Food

3.2

Mobility

1

Shelter

3

Goods/Services

2.7

Carbon Footprint Summary

Item

Household CO2 (kg)

Personal CO2 (kg)

Gas, coal, and oil

6,144

2,048

Electricity

5,489

1,830

Private Car

 

282

Public Transport

 

185

Holiday Flights

 

3,700

Total Primary Footprint

 

8,044

Total Secondary Footprint

 

5,950

Total Footprint

 

13,994

The largest components in my carbon and ecological footprint are the actual home and it’s heating/electricity use, more clearly outlined in the carbon footprint test. I currently live in an old house (pre-1900 construction) that has been refit from all gas power to natural gas and electricity. Not only is this probably the greatest source of waste (as our home is not very warm in the winter), it is probably the best source for savings.

Five ways to reduce heating and electricity waste include: turning off non-essential electronics when not in the house. Converting some light sources to compact fluorescents would save electricity. Adding more outlet timers for other nonessentials would further electricity reduction. Constantly running appliances, such as the refrigerator, are not currently sites for savings as we do not need to replace them, and they are our landlord’s responsibility. Insulating our water heater might help to some degree to save in terms of carbon emissions. Turning down the water heater would also cut natural gas usage. The next best cost savings would come from improved insulation in the house. While we cannot change the windows, we could do more than the plastic seals we used last year, which reduced heating costs from the year before, but could still be improved. The other possible reduction worth discussing shows in my carbon footprint in terms of “Holiday Flights.” Currently I travel back and forth to China roughly once every 4 years. While I have no alternative travel mode to save on pollution, there is the option of buying offsets for that travel when it is necessary, or otherwise planting or taking part in a carbon reducing activity myself.

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