A friend and were chatting the other day about a presentation I gave to a senior citizen group. It was about ways they can go green this New Year. I was explaining to them what global warming was and they seemed to get it. Then I moved onto their carbon footprint and they started to doze. I lost them. This is when my friend said, “Um…yeah…what is a carbon footprint?”

I looked at her for a minute and the light bulb went on for me. So many people recycle, buy organic food, drive hybrids, and say they are green but they might not really understand what their impact is on the earth. Going green and being Eco-friendly is all buzz and words that you hear everywhere you go. Except you need to know what your personal impact is on the environment…how much do you pollute?

A carbon footprint is the measurement of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced measured in carbon dioxide. So basically, what do you create in the amount of carbon dioxide each day.

No need to panic and think that it would be impossible to figure out. There are carbon calculators all over the place ready to figure this out for you. I like Carbon Footprint and Terra Pass. They calculate your pollution by the details you include. The size of your house, what car you drive, the number of times you fly a year, etc. Terrapass even lets you buy credits to offset what you put out into the environment. You can even buy carbon offsets for gifts.

Take my carbon footprint for example, and this is just for my home. It is 140,000 pounds of co2 each year. That’s a lot of pollution and it was figured by our zip code, if we use gas and/or electric and what are average bill for both was. Our home is large and older but we are always looking for ways to cut back on our energy consumption and pollution. Knowing this just makes recycling and doing every little thing you do even more important. Figure out your carbon footprint today and start trying to decrease your pollution each year and offsetting what you create.

What do you have to lose?


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