Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which were induced by your activities, usually calculated for the time period of a year.
Almost everything that you do emits some amount of carbon dioxide. Since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we should attempt to cut down on our personal carbon dioxide emissions, if we are to save our planet. In order to cut down on CO2 , we need to know how much we generate, in the first place. To help you with this quest, the SEA has developed an ‘easy-to-use’ carbon calculator on Microsoft Excel spread sheet application.
You can download the tool here. If you have any difficulties in using it up, please drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org We would be glad to help you.
How do our actions contribute?
The emission of CO2 from the activities you carry out, vary according to the intensity of the activity. For example, if you go to school by car, your contribution would be much more than going to school by bus or train or even in a school van. Assume that the distance from your home to school is 10 km, so if you go by car, perhaps, there would be no more than four people in the vehicle. Therefore, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the car is divided by four, to calculate the impact of a single person. Similarly, if you travel this distance by bus, there would be about 80 passengers in the bus. Therefore, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the bus is divided by 80, to calculate the impact of a single person. Hence, the more you use public transport, the more environment friendly you are!
Following are the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted from various fossil fuel and electricity. Note it, even electricity is produced by burning oil and coal in Sri Lanka, therefore, it is not always ‘clean’. Some activities and the typical amounts of carbon dioxide they emit are shown below.