A Review Of Specialized Carbon Footprint Calculators
Carbon Footprint calculators have been around for a while, but they are increasingly specialising. Since the beginning of this year at least five new tools have been launched, including a wine carbon footprint calculator.
The latest of the batch is a Ho2conserve.org’s tool (click on the icon in the right bar for the link). The great thing about the tool is that it allows you to calculate your footprint wherever you are in the world. My own water footprint is 414 cubic meters a year. That is well below the average person. The calculations are also based on what food you eat. Do not confuse this with your food carbon footprint. Of the 414 cubic meters I use, the bulk of it, 368 cubic meters, is linked to the food I purchase. The Ho2conserve.org website explains the high number. “[The calculator] takes into account not only the water used in your home, but also the water that is used to produce the food you choose to eat and the products you buy”, the website’s introduction text reads. “Your water footprint also includes other factors such as the water used to cool the power plants that provide your electricity”. That makes sense.
Another nifty device, especially for people living in the UK, is Google’s new Carbon Footprint Project. It combines personal information with data on climate change in the whole of the country. The project enables you to calculate your carbon footprint, track personalised carbon-reducing actions and compare footprints or actions to other people’s. I don’t live in the UK but I have just found the device in my iGoogle gadgets page. You have to change your countries settings to the UK however if you live outside of this country.
If you have never used a general carbon footprint calculator (one that calculates your Co2 emissions in kilograms on the basis of your energy usage) or have done so long ago, give them another go because there have been many improvements. It is advisable to consult your energy supplier’s web pages because most companies now offer calculators and many link them to your direct usage numbers. In case you don’t find anything, you can always compare the scores on about three different carbon calculators to get the most dependable results.
Business and industry are increasingly ofsetting carbon emissions too. A New Zealand wine growers association launched an international calculator which indicates the greenhouse gas emissions of any given vineyard.
The online business sector is also jumping on the bandwagon, offering programs which claim to support tree planting activities. Only today, the Wall Street Journal blog reported that the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) might start to certify this immaterial goods-based business in the future.