Thursday, September 9, 2010

Calculate my carbon footprint (Day 52)

I found the neatest website yesterday, while checking out the "Cleaning the Capital" section of our city's website.  It turns out that the City of Ottawa is even more proactive that I give it credit for.  It has teamed up with a company call Zerofootprint Inc., to create a personal carbon footprint calculator.  This calculator allows the individual or household to "accurately calculate your carbon footprint and will provide you with tips on how to reduce it. It will connect you to communities of like-minded people in your workplace, your neighbourhood, or around the world."  (

Of course, I had to try it out.  You can compare your carbon footprint to the average person in your city (i.e Ottawa) or in Canada.  My footprint is 12.7 tonnes of CO2 produced per year.  I thought that was pretty good, considering that there are 5 people in my house, and DH had a 45 minute commute (by car) each way to work.  (The calculator takes your household consumption and divides by the number of persons in the house.) [Note to my readers:  DH does not have ready access to public transportation near his workplace.]

However, when I compare myself to the average Canadian citizen, the results aren't so great.  The average Canadian citizen uses 9.8 tonnes, while the average person in Ottawa uses 9.9 tonnes.

Clearly, I still have a ways to go to lessen my environmental impact.


  1. Wow, does air travel make a whole lot of difference. We were 10.8 as a family without dh's air travel for work. With it we are 18.7.
    I was thrilled to see that we are well below average for water consumption.
    I would think that colder areas of the country, like Ottawa, would have to be higher than average as thier winter temperatures are lower causing more energy and heating fuel consumption.
    I also want to know how organic foods reduce your foot print when my non organic peaches come from 40 km away and the organic ones come from 6000 km away. I'm thinking that's off somehow.
    When I look at the fact that I am blessed enough that dh and I have better than average jobs, larger than average home, 2 vehicles living in suberbia where there is virtually no public transit I think we're doing pretty well. When I looked at all of the "hints" we do pretty much everything. Those things that I could improve have reasons why I don't already to them. Like more organic isn't in the budget and dh finding a job that doesn't do international travel isn't going to happen with his profession.