Calculate your carbon footprint

Alex Lento

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By Alex Lento, ’10, LifeStyle Section Editor


So…my footprint is huge. Now what?

There are plenty of ways to reduce or offset your carbon footprint. You can take the easy way out and donate money to the Nature Conservancy. On the Nature Conservancy website, after you have calculated now your carbon footprint, it suggests a donation you can make to offset it. Your money will go towards planting trees and protecting land. Something more practical, especially for high school students, is to make small changes in your everyday life. Most of these changes actually end up saving you money! I know everyone’s tired of hearing this, but make the switch to a reusable water bottle. Tons of stores carry them in cool designs. If you must bring a Propel or Ice Mountain bottle to school every day, at least recycle it. Another easy way to reduce your footprint is to use a little less energy every day. Everyone knows shutting your lights saves energy, but did you know that unplugging your cell phone chargers or other devices when you aren’t using them also saves energy? It’s just as easy to unplug your charger when you unplug your phone and would take you no more than one extra second each day.

When you calculated your own footprint, it provided your personal breakdown of where your carbon footprint comes from, the U.S. average breakdown is shown below. If for you it’s a lot of “Food & Diet”, tell your parents to make an attempt to buy organic foods. If it’s transportation, make an effort to carpool more, or try to combine errands and cut out extra driving. Being “green” is easy. Start small. It all adds up.

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