Tool Time: Carbon Calculator

Jim and lauren’s most recent posts have inspired me to start working my way through some of the calculators I posted on my own blog.

Tonight I used the online Carbon Calculator from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. It’s a simple 4-step questionnaire that asked for my actual consumption rates of electricity, heating, car travel, and air travel. I don’t receive heating bills (gas is paid for as part of my co-op fees), but I was able to calculate the rest. Here are my results (electricity consumption is shared with my husband, but car and air travel are mine alone):

Electricity consumption: 2012 therms vs. national average of 10,388 (my emissions: 657 lbs)
Gas consumption (auto): 168 gallons vs. national average of 566 (my emissions: 3,291 lbs)
Air travel (this is where it gets very sad): 16,000 miles vs. national average of 962 miles (my emissions: 21,760 lbs)

In a typical year I probably fly the national average, but last year I traveled to Europe in the summer and then to Chicago for Christmas. Blew all the other savings out of the water. Too bad.

I was feeling okay about my results until I hit the fourth tab (air travel). Now the question is: what am I going to do about it? Well, I think I’m going to start by buying 2 Green Tags. Not enough to offset all my carbon sin, but enough to offset 11%, which is 6 more than 5%…

By the way, here’s where my household electricity comes from. The middle column is my power supplier and the right column is the CA average…

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