Making Green Living Logical

The US EPA defines carbon footprint as a measure of the greenhouse gases that are produced by the activities of a person, a family, a school or a business that involve burning fossil fuels.  Carbon footprint is basically used as a measure to see how we, or our organization, compare with others with regards to energy consumption.  It can also be a good tool for us to monitor improvements as they are made.  Check out carbon footprint calculators at the EPA, The Nature Conservency and TerraPass to determine your own carbon footprint.

If you live in an area where your electricity comes from a coal or natural gas fired power plant, reducing electricity use is the single best way to reduce your carbon footprint.  Another good way is to decrease the amount of fuel used for transportation, whether by driving less, using a more fuel efficient vehicle, or taking public transportation (see our Energy Conservation page.

Once you know your carbon footprint and have taken steps to reduce it, another option is purchasing carbon offsets to help minimize your overall carbon footprint.  A couple sources for carbon offsets are Carbonfund and TerraPass.  The money from the purchase of offsets is generally invested in green activities designed to reduce carbon emissions (such as wind farms), or put into the planting of trees to capture carbon from the air.  The carbon offset market is not well regulated at this point however, and you may find that the prices of offsets vary.

Curious about wind turbines?  Check out this US Department of Energy video.

What's Your Carbon Footprint

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