Town of Greenville
Be Green in Greenville
What is your Carbon Footprint?
Carbon is one of the planet’s most important elements and a building block of human and animal cells. It can be found in most everything on Earth from people to plants to petroleum products. When carbon mixes with oxygen it forms carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases impact how much heat the Earth retains from the sun’s rays. A “carbon footprint” is the metaphor environmentalists use to describe the residue left behind from using energy, or a person’s impact on the atmosphere.
Many things affect the size of our carbon footprint. The kind of food we buy, the amount of water we use, whether we recycle and how much we throw away all impact the size of our carbon footprint.
To calculate your carbon footprint, the following websites will let you insert all of your information regarding how many miles you drive, how much you recycle, what your energy bills are and other information that allows it to calculate how many pounds of carbon dioxide your lifestyle causes to the environment.
Did you know that according to the EPA:
- Heating an average sized home with natural gas generates 11,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
- The typical car produces 12,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
- An average couple creates 41,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
If every person in America produces this amount of carbon dioxide can you imagine the numbers of everyone together!
There are many things that can be done to reduce the size of your carbon footprint.
- Change your light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent
- Install motion sensors that enable the light to shut off when there is no one there to use the light
- Water uses a large amount of energy to be pumped, the more bends and curves a pipe has, the harder the pump has to work to get the water through the pipes. Using less pumped water and using natural water through rain barrels or cisterns will help to reduce the amount of energy used to pump water.
- Consumers pay twice for most waste, once for the packaging when you buy it and once when you pay to get rid of it. Trying use returnable and reusable packaging will help to reduce the amount of waste being deposited into landfills.
Carbon Footprint Calculators