EBook Excerpt: Your Costs and Your Carbon Footprint

Here is the next in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula

Want to know how to calculate your carbon footprint? Here is great resource. Follow these steps, and you may be surprised by the result.

1. Go to the carbon footprint calculator.

2. Enter your country and state of origin. This will give you a more accurate estimate, as some factors vary by location. Note: As the site says, the calculations for secondary emissions are based on estimates developed by Carbon Footprint to illustrate the impact on the environment from your day-to-day activities.

3. Start with HOUSEHOLD and be prepared to enter the following information regarding your house: the number of people in your household and your consumption of electricity, natural gas, heating oil, coal, and the like. It may be helpful to have a year’s worth of utility bills handy.

4. FLIGHTS is an area where it’s key to be prepared by knowing where you traveled and in which class – yes, the class matters in this calculation, as you take up about twice as much space in first class. Continue reading “EBook Excerpt: Your Costs and Your Carbon Footprint”

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EBook Excerpt: What Does It Mean To Go Green?

Here is the next in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula

I know you have heard the terminology many times, but can you give a clear explanation about the meaning of the phrase “green lifestyle”? What does it mean to “go green”? What are the implications of “going green” on your current lifestyle?

Living a green lifestyle means focusing on using resources – energy, water, materials – more efficiently. It also means reducing waste and minimizing the negative environmental impact of your activities. The lifestyle choices you make will affect both your local environment and the global environment. You can live greener through both your consumer choices and your lifestyle choices.

Generally speaking, anyone who is trying to establish a green lifestyle will consider both the short-term and the long-term implications of their day-to-day choices. This could mean something as simple as making a concerted effort to commute in a greener way by carpooling, bicycling, or taking public transportation or it could involve planning errands so that trips by car for groceries and basic shopping needs each week are minimized in order to save gas and reduce emissions. Continue reading “EBook Excerpt: What Does It Mean To Go Green?”

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How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Most people have heard the term “carbon footprint” but far fewer know what it is and how to determine it.

First, it is essential to define exactly what is meant by the term “carbon footprint.” A useful formal definition is provided by the UK Carbon Trust: “A ‘carbon footprint’ measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organization, event or product.”

It is important to recognize that your carbon footprint is not determined by simply looking at your daily activities and adding up all the carbon emissions that result directly. Secondary emissions are an important part of the calculation, as well. Those secondary emissions result from a variety of actions, including many that you probably never considered before. For example, food preferences, buying imported food and goods or locally produced items, the amount of packaging materials that come with your purchases, your use of electrical appliances, how much recycling you do, how you spend your vacation and recreational time, and many others.

Currently, the global average stands at roughly six tons per person per year, but in the United States that figure leaps to more than 20 tons per person each year.

Why such a massive difference? Continue reading “How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint”

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