# How to Calculate Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint is the indicator of the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually, as a result of our day-to-day activities. Every person can have a different value for his carbon footprint, which is determined by his way of living. Read on to know how to calculate your own, and find out if you are indeed doing your bit to save the environment.

Mukulika Mukherjee

Calculating Carbon Footprint Manually

Electricity Consumed

To calculate the carbon dioxide emitted by the total amount of electricity (in kilowatt-hour or kWh) used by you, first add up the electricity bills for the year and then multiply it by 1.34, which is the average amount of CO

_{2}in pounds that is emitted per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, in the U.S.
Cooking Fuel Used

Now, calculating this might be a little tricky as not all of us use the same kind of fuel in our homes. However, considering the standard rates of CO

_{2}emissions for each fuel, we can easily arrive at a figure by multiplying the total quantity of fuel used throughout the year, with the standard rate of emission of that fuel. Given below are the standard rates of emission of CO_{2}, for some common fuels.- Fuel oil (per gallon) - 22.38 lbs
- Propane (per gallon) - 12.67 lbs
- Renewable wood (per cord) - 0
- Non-renewable wood (per cord) - 5180 lbs
- Natural gas (per ccf) - 11.70 lbs

Use of Vehicles

When it comes to the vehicles you drive, your carbon footprint depends on the miles per gallon or the mileage offered by your vehicle, and on the total number of miles that you drive per year. Now, if you are wondering how driving a vehicle can contribute towards your carbon footprint, it is due to the burning of fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel. You can calculate the gas emissions from vehicles in the following two ways.

- Collect all your gas receipts for the entire year and add them up. This will give you the gas consumed throughout the year, in gallons. Now, multiply this value with the standard rate of CO
_{2}emissions for the fuel. It is 19.56 lbs for unleaded petrol and 22.48 lbs for diesel. - Another way to calculate is to divide the number of miles traveled in the given year by the vehicle's mileage. This way you'll again obtain the number of gallons used. Multiply this with the standard CO
_{2}emission rate for your fuel.

Travel by Air

Now, if you have traveled by air to any destination then you have also contributed to the global warming in some way! So, how to calculate it? Well, for shorter flights of duration less than 4 hours, multiply the total distance (in miles) by 1100, and for longer flights with of 4 hours or more, multiply the total distance (in miles) by 4,400.

Now, add the figures obtained in the steps given above, to obtain your carbon footprint.