Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Oregon Carbon Calculator

My carbon footprint.

Rudy Berg of the SW Oregon chapter of the Northwest Eco-Building Guild regularly keeps many of us here in Eugene informed of events, articles, or links of interest on the subject of living and designing sustainably. One of his recent e-mail blasts introduced me to the Oregon Carbon Calculator.

The Oregon Carbon Calculator is a new interactive tool on the DEQ website that lets Oregon residents measure their carbon footprint and discover ways to improve it. The tool calculates all direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from personal transportation, household energy use, and consumption of food, goods and services.

It’s fun and easy to use. You’ll find out how your household's carbon footprint compares to households of similar size and income here in Oregon. You’ll also learn how you can take action to reduce your carbon footprint from a number of specific ideas and strategies.

I calculated that the total carbon footprint for me and my wife is 75% of comparable households in the state. Good for us. However, it’s still 380% of the global average. The per person resource demand in this country is about 8.5 hectares versus the world average of about 2.2 hectares. We’re running an ecological deficit, with a footprint larger than our biological capacity.

There are numerous other online tools (such as Carbon Footprint) for assessing the size of one’s carbon footprint but I had not previously sought them out. Thanks, Rudy, for informing me about the Oregon Carbon Calculator.

The Oregon Carbon Calculator is made possible through Oregon DEQ's support of the CoolClimate Network, a program of the University of California, Berkeley, and through financial support by the California Air Resources Board and the partnership. Oregon DEQ selected this calculator for its approach and depth in calculating human impacts to climate change.

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