Carbon Footprint Calculator

As much as the responsibility for climate change rests on the largest global polluters who have contributed to the vast majority of carbon emissions, individuals also have fallen into a pattern of consumerism and travel that contributes to emissions, oftentimes unintentionally. The Carbon Footprint Calculator allows individuals to calculate their carbon footprint from their household, shopping, travel, and dietary habits, among other factors. This calculator is a free tool from the founding company Carbon Footprint Ltd., founded in 2015. The individual calculator available on their website is quite specific and can be used to encapsulate the activity of an entire year, trip, or another distinct period. In the end, you can learn how to offset your footprint by planting a certain number of trees that would in maturity be able to absorb the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. This tool really forces you to reconcile with your habits and resulting emissions, and hopefully is able to inspire some personal changes to a more sustainable lifestyle. There are a couple of apparent downsides to this technology, the first of which is that it can be difficult to get an accurate measure of one’s carbon footprint, especially if one is not familiar with their individual electricity, natural gas, or other utility metrics. For renters who do not directly have access to those bills, for example, that information is not available and thus the footprint metric isn’t necessarily accurate. Additionally, just because there are technically actions and tools one could use to mitigate their footprint, there is no guarantee that those solutions are readily accessible or even practical. It is nice that you could offset your flight to Los Angeles with 20 mature trees, but do you really have the time, place, and capacity to plant and grow 20 trees to maturity for that offset to be realized? Probably not. In using an application like this, it is important to keep in mind that there are very few practical steps to offset carbon emissions (aside from changing your lifestyle) habits, and that can be difficult for those that live and work in a place that requires a particular lifestyle, like a city that doesn’t provide any public transportation option.

“Carbon Calculator.” Carbon Footprint. Accessed September 15, 2020.


Climate Change, Internet of Things, Psychology