Monday, March 2, 2009

DIY: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint!

First of all - what is a carbon footprint

According to wikipedia, it's “the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product” (UK Carbon Trust 2008).

In other words, a carbon footprint is like a head - we've all got one.  Our carbon footprints are determined by our choices - what kind of car we drive (or do you have a car?), how long we leave the lights on, and what type of food we eat.  The farther your food travels, the greater the carbon footprint.  Ever heard of the 12,000 mile salad?

Local agriculture has many benefits - supporting local farmers, reduced risk of food contamination, better flavor & nutritional value - but a key one is a smaller impact to the environment, especially if the farmer follows sustainable agriculture practices.

Is this a big deal?  Well, according to some estimates 1 hamburger results in 8 - 13 pounds of carbon being released into the atmosphere, much of which due to petroleum products - packaging and shipping.

What to do?  If you're interested in learning more, check out  You can: 
  • calculate your own carbon footprint
  • learn strategies to reduce your environmental impact
  • purchase "carbon offsets"
A carbon offset is a fancy way of saying that somebody will take your money and plant a tree or help build a wind farm to reduce the environmental impact of our collective lifestyle.

Get informed!

Bonus! Check back later this week for a video on how to reduce your own carbon footprint!

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