How to quickly calculate your carbon footprint

Author Alexandra Shimo-Barry knows how. In her new book, The Environment Equation, Shimo-Barry, a national reporter for Maclean’s in Canada, teaches readers how to quickly calculate their carbon footprints, or the amount of greenhouse gases in units of carbon dioxide, they’re producing by using the following formula:

  • A.) Multiply your monthly electricity bill by 105
  • B.) Multiply your monthly gas bill by 105
  • C.) Multiply your monthly oil bill by 113
  • (if you don’t use either B or C, enter 0.)
  • D.) Multiply total yearly mileage by .79
  • E.) Multiply the number of flights–4 hours or less–by 1,100
  • F.) Multiply the number of flights–4 hours or more–by 4,400
  • G.) Do you recycle newspaper? If no, add 184. If yes, add 0.
  • H.) Do you recycle aluminum and tin? If no, add 166. If yes, add 0.

A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H = your carbon footprint. A number below 6,000 (reflected in pounds per year) is excellent. Over 22,000? Not so great. Good is anywhere from 6,000 to 15,999, while 16,000 to 22,000 is average.

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