Global warming. The greenhouse effect. Anybody who knows what’s shakin’ knows that the world is bakin’. And yet, many people still don’t seem to realize that there is a direct link between the things they are doing in their homes, yards and offices and the global warming which is makin’ the bakin’. Environmental calculators can help.
Scientists around the world are scurrying to provide tools which put the whole thing into perspective. Online environmental calculators allow users to input every day actions from what type of cars they drive, how much they recycle and what type of home they live in to come up with a figure that estimates how much carbon dioxide their actions produce or how many barrels of oil their car consumes. Many of these calculators also compare the results to the “average” citizen and provide links to help you learn how to reduce your impact.
If you are still skeptical about your direct impact on the environment, check out these environmental impact calculators:
Fueleconomy.gov – An excellent website which is a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) tells you everything you need to know about your car and it’s impact on the environment. The Find and Compare Cars tool allows you to input any model and year of car and come up with a score for energy impact, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution with thorough explanations about what all these terms mean. Other handy links on the site explain hybrid vehicles, gas mileage tips and a page that allows you to find the lowest gas prices in any area by inputting your zip code. This page is a must visit for anyone that doesn’t ride a horse to work.
Household Carbon Footprint Calculator – Created by the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), this online calculator allows you to estimate you or your family’s personal greenhouse gas emissions. The next section of the calculator explores actions you and/or your family can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.
PaperCalculator.org - This calculator, produced by Environmental Defense, allows you to input the amount and type of paper you (or your company) uses and provides figures for wood use, total energy, greenhouse gases, wastewater and solid waste. Use the Group of Papers option to compare the benefits of paper types. Great tool to use if you are trying to encourage your company, local libraries or local copy center to switch to recycled papers.
For those who still don’t want to admit their personal environmental impact after using a few of the calculators above, there are many other sites that offer similar calculations. Just input “calculate environmental impact” in the ‘search the web’ box on this page.