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Carbon Footprint Statistics

Here are the statistics we use for this calculator. Please let us know if you have any suggestions! We realize these can't be exact figures - the price of gas goes up and down, the exact distance you travel in an airplane will not match the averages. Still, this is meant to be a rough estimate to figure out where you fall, give or take a ton.

Electricity


average of 105 pounds per $1 spent
Average monthly US electrical bill: $104.52
To be more exact, every electrical plant uses a different mix of coal, nuclear power, wind power, and so on to create their electricity. You would want to check with your specific plant to see how they are generating your electricity for you. For example a plant relying on coal would generate huge amounts of CO2 to create your electricity, while a plant using wind energy would create practically none.
Reducing your Electricity Bill and Carbon Footprint


Heating


Natural gas is the most efficient of all forms of heating. In terms of an average home being heated, the amount of CO2 released is far less. When you look at pounds of CO2 released per kWh of energy, you get these values (based on data provided by the US Department of Energy):

Fuel TypeCO2 per kWh
Wood1,500g
Coal1,000g
Natural Gas430g


Natural gas heat
1 therm of natural gas creates 12.06 pounds of CO2. Assume $0.80/therm, that means each $1 buys 1.25 therms = 15.08 pounds of CO2. Multiply by 12 to account for all 12 months. This means each dollar in the monthly budget estimates to 180.96 pounds of CO2 put out for that year.
Reducing your Heating / Cooling Bill and Carbon Footprint

Propane heat
1 gallon of propane creates 12.67 pounds of CO2. Assume $2.50/gallon, that means each $1 buys .4 gallons = 5.07 pounds of CO2. Multiply by 12 to account for all 12 months. This means each dollar in the monthly budget estimates to 60.81 pounds of CO2 put out for that year.
Reducing your Heating / Cooling Bill and Carbon Footprint

Oil heat
1 gallon of oil creates 22.38 pounds of CO2. Assume $4.00/gallon, that means each $1 buys .25 gallons = 8.95 pounds of CO2. Multiply by 12 to accont for all 12 months. This means each dollar in the monthly budget estimates to 107.42 pounds of CO2 put out for that year.
Reducing your Heating / Cooling Bill and Carbon Footprint

Coal heat
1 ton of coal creates 4,000 pounds of CO2. Assume $2.50/ton, that means each $1 buys .4 tons = 1600 pounds of CO2. Multiply by 12 to accont for all 12 months. This means each dollar in the monthly budget estimates to 19,200 pounds of CO2 put out for that year.
Reducing your Heating / Cooling Bill and Carbon Footprint


Transportation
car usage - 19.4 pounds per gallon
airplane - 1100 pounds for short flights, 4400 pounds for long flights

Recycling
no paper recycling - add 220 pounds
no tin recycling - add 166 pounds
no glass recycling - add 30 pounds
no plastic recycling - add 47 pounds


Diet
Your eating choices affect your health - and they also affect the world around you. It is well known that cows take far more space - and far more energy to raise, move, slaughter, and transport - than the equivalent calories in vegetable form. The further you move towards being a vegan, the greater the savings of your carbon footprint.

It's not just all the machinery and industry involved in slaughtering animals. It's also the animals themselves. Some studies show that 18% of the world's greenhouse gasses are methane created by the cows as they eat. Methane is far more powerful than CO2 when it comes to holding in the heat. So in some ways it could be claimed that all of these cows emitting methane is just as serious an issue as a factory belching out smoke.

more red meat: 7,200 pounds
less red meat: 5,000 pounds
fish / chicken: 5,000 pounds
vegetarian: 3,000 pounds
vegan: 2,000 pounds

Reducing your Food Bill and Carbon Footprint



Green Living and Carbon Footprints
BellaOnline Green Living Carbon Footprints main page
How to Calculate your Carbon Footprint
Ways to Offset your Carbon Footprint
Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Carbon Footprint Statistics
Determining the Carbon Footprint of a Webserver
FREE Green Living Ebook Series

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