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Carbon Footprint Calculator | Climate Change | US EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This carbon footprint calculator is set up for easy-to-use inputs for three sectors: home energy use, local transportation, and home waste generation.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy

This Simulation/Interactive builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Energy Literacy

This Simulation/Interactive builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Users need to have data on their own energy use (home electricity use, transportation cost, etc.) in order to use this tool.
  • The inputs would be most efficiently accomplished at home with assistance from parents, who can provide detailed information on utility bills, miles driven, recycling, etc.
  • Students may have a difficult time imagining that gas actually has weight. Use the value of 0.0855 lbs air/cubic foot to calculate how much air (in pounds) is in your classroom before students start using the calculator.

About the Content

  • Footprint calculator estimates carbon footprint for household home energy use, home waste generation, and local transportation. Estimates are based on baseline data provided by the user (utility bills, miles driven, recycling, etc.). Assumptions and references are provided, based on US average values.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - provides a cost breakdown incentive
    - the excel calculator on opening page is awesome!

About the Pedagogy

  • Calculator is very simple and straightforward in presentation.
  • Output of calculator is a report on user's current footprint, potential reductions based on behaviour changes identified, and comparisons to general public.
  • For each of energy use, waste, and transportation, behavior change/reduction strategies are provided along with savings in dollars and CO2 emissions.
  • Students can download the exercise as an Excel spreadsheet to see the formulas used in calculations.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easy to use, well designed.
  • Transparent in providing background references, data, and calculations.
  • Note: EPA website notes that some URLs may change - keep an eye out for possibility of this tool being moved on the site.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

A newer carbon calculator with carbon offset project suggestions can be found from the Carbon Footprint Management Company based in London: https://www.co2nsensus.com/carbon-footprint-calculator-co2nnector
Entered the Collection: May 2018 Last Reviewed: April 2017

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