What Size is Your Carbon Footprint?

By Todd Fratzel on Green Building

picture of carbon footprintLately I’ve been talking about solar power, alternative energy and figuring out how on earth we’re going to get away from oil. I thought it would be fun to use one of the free carbon footprint calculators to see what our household carbon footprint is. Obviously these are very approximate measures but it’s an easy way to see where we all stand.

I’d like to have as many people as possible take 5 minutes to run through the free calculator and then post their score in the comments. That way I can post some results of how everyone compares. You can use this carbon footprint calculator supplied by The Nature Conservancy.

The results of our carbon footprint are listed in the graphic below. There are four main categories that this calculator looks at: Home Energy, Flying & Driving, Food & Diet, and Recycling & Waste. We scored below average in Home Energy and Flying & Driving while we scored about average on Food & Diet and Recycling & Waste. I think we scored below average on the Home, Energy, Flying and Driving because we have a new home that is pretty energy efficient and we both work fairly close to home so we don’t really drive all that much. It looks like we could do a little better with our recycling, waste, food and diet.
graph of our carbon footprint
So go ahead and run your carbon footprint calculations and post the results in the comments section. Make sure you include how many people live in your home.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. berto xxx says:

    yeah! thats awsome!! i like it!

    berto xxx

  2. philippine lottery says:

    Well done for this wonderful blog.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Two person household and nowhere to count the pet footprints! “Your estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 22 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, which is below the U.S. national average.”

    the ?? were kind of simplistic…

  4. Green Me says:

    For a 3 person household we came out at 54 (avg. for US was 80). Our biggest energy usage was our house. Perhaps that comes from living in Colorado — heating all winter and cooling all summer! I was surprised that driving wasn’t a bigger chunk, compared to the national average, because my husband commutes!

  5. Jonathon D. Colman says:

    I got a footprint of 33 for a two-person household. Well below the US average but very high above the world average, of course. Not having a car helps, but all my flying really hurts us! :(

    Thanks for posting this!

  6. Gene says:

    20 tons for a two person household. Being vegetarian helps. Even though our main car is a hybrid, that’s still our biggest impact.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Your Estimated Emissions (2 person household)
    United States Average per Person(2 person household)

    We can surely do better! Our two cars are the worst offenders, even though they get 40 mpg.

  8. fred says:

    68 for a 4 person household. I see lots of areas for us to improve, all of which would save us money. We get some good points for recycling everything that our county will pick up (glass, plastic, paper, grass & leaves). We also do ok having one small car, but we also have a relatively inefficient minivan.

  9. Paul says:

    We came out as 34 (tons) for a family of four (US average 110 tons) Of course, the kids are still young. Our biggest plus, the solar hot water, our biggest minus, the two light SUV’s that we drive. We can do something about that, I am looking at a smaller more fuel efficient car for driving back and forth to work.

  10. Anita says:

    I’m a little late getting to this one…
    Your estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 70 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, which is below the U.S. national average.

    That’s for our family of 7.

    Our biggest impact is, of course, our house considering the size… but then we have no choice but to reduce energy usage and improve efficiency as much as possible so that we can afford a +5 bedroom house. :) Second impact – food… Seven people eat lots…

    We offset these things compared to the national average in travel, for the most part… We do not travel by air.. Actually we don’t travel at all. No room for planning ‘vacations’ when the threat of evacuation comes up each year. (Our footprint would obviously be higher during those years when we do have to evacuate.) And despite our ownership of a very large gas-guzzling SUV and a very small gas-guzzling Jeep exclusively — both vehicles are rarely used. The huge SUV leaves the driveway for a 10 mile round trip to the grocery store about once per week, for instance.

    Now if only we could do something about the greenhouse emissions from the Chevron refinery 1.5 miles from our house…..

  11. timothy gerling says:

    Took the calculator, there are 3 adults in the household and we are pretty mindful of our energy consumption. My 85 year mother in law never drives, she walks to the store. We carpool to work 16 miles each way 5 days a week and rarely use our automobile on the weekends. We constantly struggle to get the others in our complex and building management to get recyclable material out of the trash compactor. We even got a worm farm to so most food scraps are now turned into worm poo which we use on our plants.

    The calculator gave us a 21 for a household of 3 and that is just 3 points above the world average of 18. Wish we could do more, I think we really need to “reverse” not just stay even with the carbon emissions but I know that will be a tough battle here in the US. From someone who was born and raised here we are often the technology leaders, just not sure what is going to take for us to get our act together, maybe energy has been so cheap for so long here we are out of touch with the rest of the world.

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