Monday, February 22, 2010

What is My Carbon Footprint?

A Goal to Cancel Personally Controllable Carbon Emissions

In this article we will look at the benefits of using an individual’s average controllable carbon emissions as a goal to reduce carbon emissions credits as opposed to reducing a carbon footprint. If every individual in the developed world cancelled 12 tonnes of carbon emissions credits it would amount to about 14.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is about half the world’s total annual carbon emissions!
Measuring Carbon Footprint
There are many definitions of a carbon footprint. In general, it provides a measure of the annual carbon emissions for which something is responsible. A carbon footprint can be calculated for many things, such as an individual, family, business, group, product or an event. A carbon footprint can serve as an indicator to measure the progress of emission reduction efforts or as a goal to neutralise by cancelling carbon credits.

Knowing and reducing your footprint is an ideal goal but does it really reduce the dependency on fossil fuels? Until we find a way to make low carbon solutions economically attractive fossil fuels will continue to appeal to those who are not convinced by the need to act now.

Cancelling genuine carbon emissions credits provides a more conclusive solution to help drive the change to low carbon solutions. It helps reduce the supply of credits available to emitters of carbon dioxide. If the number of carbon emission credits is limited, then the reduction in supply will tend to put upward pressure on the price of the remaining carbon credits. In doing so it increases the cost of fossil fuel energy. That helps change the balance in favour of low carbon solutions. Most people accept that low carbon solutions are the only way to a sustainable future.

Knowing that buying and cancelling carbon emissions credits can make a difference is the first step, next we need to know how many to buy and cancel. This is where the idea of controllable carbon emissions comes into play. By calculating the average personally controllable carbon emissions we arrive at a goal that individuals can aim for that will help reduce carbon emissions and help stop damaging climate change.

Your personally controllable carbon emissions are those over which you have control. They result from your daily activities. There are many ways to calculate an individual's controllable carbon emissions. Here we look at the carbon emissions from the main energy consumption activities which include, household electricity, vehicle travel, waste, air travel, and other. Table 1 shows the personally controllable carbon emissions equal 12 tonnes for an individual on average.

Personally Controllable Carbon Emissions - Carbon Footprint

A bit less than half an individual’s carbon emissions come directly from electricity; of which a large part goes in heating water and household heating/cooling. Vehicle travel is responsible for about a quarter of emissions. Other includes natural gas, public transport and community infrastructure.

These are averages, meaning some people will consume less and some more. For example, private vehicle emissions can vary based on the size of the car and the conditions that the car is driven. There are also areas we have not covered such as carbon emissions from food, clothing and education.

What is important is that you as an individual now have an understanding of where your emissions are likely to come from. With some more information and a few tips you can start to reduce them.

It also provides a goal for the cancellation of carbon emissions credits. A goal that is internationally comparable across developed countries. A goal that is easily recognised and indentified by the Climakind levels of participation.

If every individual in the developed world cancelled 12 tonnes of carbon emissions credits it would amount to about 14.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is about half the world’s total annual carbon emissions!

Climakind provides an interface to simplify your emissions reduction efforts through cancelling carbon emissions credits. Visit today.

Make a difference. Cancel Carbon Emissions Credits.

Thursday, February 18, 2010 is a CO2NeutralWebsite


The internet is a good thing for the climate. It reduces the need for transportation. It reduces the need for printing brochures and leaflets. But the internet also causes carbon emissions due to the electricity consumption.

The use of the internet today is estimated to cause more carbon emissions than airfreight! This is due to the electricity used to run the servers behind websites as well as the computers and monitors of the visitors.

If the electricity is generated from fossil fuels such as carbon then the website is responsible for a "carbon footprint".

CO2NeutralWebsite have created an algorithm to calculate the CO2 emissions generated by the traffic on your site. Now you can estimate the carbon emissions and match them with genuine carbon credits, effectively neutralising the websites carbon footprint. is proud to be the first Australian based website to join the voluntary initiative CO2NeutralWebsite.

Both large and small companies from many different countries participate in the initiative. In total more than 800 companies have joined.

A website is a very visible part of your business. Neutralising the carbon emissions created by surfing your site can appeal to your visitors. It can help position your brand as environmentally concerned and visibly active in reducing carbon emissions credits. CO2NeutralWebsite believes your "company gets a good profile that is far bigger than the cost of joining."

Normally the cost of participating is 31 AUD per month (the algorithm is based on site traffic).

Please find further information regarding the CO2 initiative at the official website.