Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Measuring Your Carbon Foot Print

After vowing to measure my own carbon footprint in my January 28th post, Social Networking Goes Green, it turned out to be an interesting expedition into green living. Not that I learned anything I didn't know I SHOULD be doing, but it gave me the opportunity to measure the effect of what I was already doing. That part of it was fascinating to me.

Since then, I have fairly consistently been making small changes and adding them to the measurement data. It updates itself and gives you a new footprint measurement and calculates the amount of reduction in your carbon footprint per year. My reduction since that post is an astounding 1 ton of carbon per year. It became almost addicting for a while, as I would do something and run back to the computer to see what the net effect was. Changing a light bulb to a CFL (you can enter the number changed) became a game of how much can I decrease my footprint. I may be sounding a bit like Ed Begley, Jr., but I'll take that as a compliment, if so.

There are lots of places to measure your carbon footprint on the web. It only takes a few minutes and is quite educational. I would particularly advise you to do this with your kids who are old enough to watch the change in the numbers. If you choose a calculator that will save your carbon footprint and allow you to make improvements in your green lifestyle, you can watch it recalculate. Re-entering a better number means the carbon foot print goes down--sort of like dieting and watching the scale register lower each time you get on it. It's exciting!

Here are a few places you can measure your own carbon footprint. Each has a few different twists to what they can do. It really doesn't matter, as long as you continue to measure against the same measuring device--like comparing apples to apples.

It really is interesting. If I had young kids or grandkids, I would do it with them. Or you could do it for the Earth. Just do it.

Have you read Al Gore's Book, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH?:

By the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day. I hope the luck o' the Irish will follow you everywhere. If you need any traditional recipes, check out my last 2 posts for Traditional Corned Beef and Vegetables and Organic Irish Apple Cake.

Check in on Thursday for a few more of Ed Begley, Jr.'s simplest green living tips. And don't miss my Food Friday recipe. I'll be serving up Organic Blueberry Kuchen, a German dessert.

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