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What's My Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of carbon dioxide produced to indirectly or directly support human activities. It's usually expressed in terms of equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

So for example, when you drive a car, the engine burns fuel which creates a certain amount of CO2, depending on its fuel consumption and the driving distance. When you heat your house with oil, gas or coal, then you also generate CO2. Even if you heat your house with electricity, the generation of the electrical power may also have emitted a certain amount of CO2. When you buy food and goods, the production of the food and goods also emitted some quantities of CO2.

Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year.

The best way is to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions based on the fuel consumption. In the next step you can add the CO2 emission to your carbon footprint.

There are a number of available carbon footprint calculators available online. We've chosen a simple one and a more complex version for you to try.

Once you know your carbon footprint, have a look at our Energy Savings for homes for hints and tips to reduce it. Businesses can use Energy Savings for Businesses.

The figure considered to be a sustainable yearly quota for each of the world's six billion inhabitants is 2 tonnes. The average carbon footprint for an adult in the UK is 10 tonnes.