Why do I have to select a state?
Burning a light bulb for one hour in Maine versus Colorado does not necessarily contribute the same carbon dioxide emissions. Some states rely more heavily on coal powered electrical generation while others use a greater proportion of natural gas, and some regions have more modern, efficient utility plants. Choosing a state determines the estimated pounds of CO2 emissions produced for every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed in a local area.
The chart below lists the pounds of CO2 emissions produced for every kilowatt-hour for each census region. This CO2 conversion factor is used for all the calculations in the tool.
|Census Region||lbs CO2/kWh|
|East North Central||1.630|
|West North Central||1.757|
|East South Central||1.464|
|West South Central||1.499|
How do I calculate my carbon footprint?
Click on the tabs Appliances, Gadgets, Heating/Cooling, Lighting, and Transportation to calculate your carbon footprint. Fill in the number of items you own and the number of hours you use each item per day. Example wattage has been provided for each item, but you should check your own items to generate a more accurate carbon "kidprint".
NOTE: You can use decimals for minutes, for example, 0.5 for 30 minutes, 0.25 for 15 minutes, etc.
Your total daily and annual pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions will appear in the blue box next to the tabs. You can see what areas generate more CO2 emissions than others as you work through the tabs.
Change your state to see how the totals compare by region and use the tool to experiment ways you can reduce your CO2 emissions.
Remember to note your daily and annual pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions before closing your browser window. All calculations will be lost when the browser window is closed!
How are the totals calculated (what's the math)?
Daily pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions are calculated by multiplying the units of energy used on a daily basis by the CO2 conversion factor for each region.
Annual pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions are calculated by multiplying the daily pounds by 365.
To make this number more comparable on a national or global basis, it is also converted into metric tonnes by multiplying the annual pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions by 0.000453592.
Transportation is calculated a little differently. The EPA estimates that the amount of carbon produced in a gallon of gas is 5.33739 lbs. So the gallons of gas used is multiplied by 5.33739 to determine the pounds (lbs) of CO2 emissions.
|HD Cable Box|
|Electric Lawn Mower|
|Stereo System/CD Player|
|Aquarium (with lights & pumps)|
|MP3 Player Speakers|
|Alarm Clock Radio|
|Tablet (iPad, TouchPad, etc.)|
|Handheld Game Console|
|E-book reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.)|
|Video Game Console|
|Electric Space Heater|
|Air Conditioner (Window Unit)|