How to Calculate Carbon Emission

Carbon footprints are usually calculated in tons.
••• one ton crush 2 image by chrisharvey from

Are you interested in living "green"? Perhaps you are an environmentally minded individual who is looking for a way to determine what kind of an impact your existence is having on the earth? Calculating your carbon footprint, or the carbon emissions you are responsible for, is one way to determine how best to approach minimizing your impact on global warming. Calculating carbon emissions is a fairly simple process, since you can use figures available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to determine the emissions from using electricity and natural gas and driving a car.

    Calculate your carbon emissions for electricity use by examining your electric bill and locating the column that says "kilowatt hours" or "kwh." This can be a monthly reading or the total electricity used since the beginning of the year. Multiply the monthly electric usage (in kwh) by 16.44 pounds of carbon.

    Calculate your natural-gas carbon emissions by multiplying your total monthly gas usage in cubic feet by 0.12 pounds of carbon.

    Calculate your carbon emissions from driving your vehicle. Estimate the total number of miles you drive per month and then divide this number by the total miles per gallon your car gets. This number will be the total gallons of gas you use in a month. Multiply that number by 19.4 pounds of carbon to get your total carbon emissions from driving.

    Add the numbers generated in steps 1 through 3 and then add an additional 10 percent of the total as a buffer. This should be close to your overall carbon emissions for one month.

    Things You'll Need

    • Recent gas bill
    • Recent electric bill
    • Estimates of how much you drive


    • You can get a better estimate of overall carbon emissions by using one of the online carbon calculators. They allow you to get into much more intricate detail regarding lifestyle choices.

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