Super-handy Footprint Calculators

In previous posts, I’ve shared the link to the Riot for Austerity footprint calculator. This calculator makes it easy to compute your personal or household footprint in relation to the U.S. average in seven basic categories: transportation, electricity, heating & cooking fuel, garbage output, water, consumer goods, and food.

Now I’ve just stumbled on another really handy calculator for computing your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint calculator on Michael Bluejay’s website lets you compute your footprint in relation to the U.S. average in four categories: home energy use, driving, diet (vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore), and flying. Michael’s calculator additionally allows you to see where your total footprint stacks up in relation to the world average.

I find both of these calculators really useful, and will use them both on an ongoing basis. Both sites also offer a wealth of tips on the best ways to make major reductions in your footprint.

While it isn’t necessary to calculate your footprint, many of us have found it a very helpful or even essential step in making reductions. Plus, it’s really kind of fun to see where you stand in relation to the average, and to chart your progress in the different areas over time.

You can also create your own calculation by picking out some area of your life that’s costing you a lot of money, time, effort, or other resources, and aiming to cut that expenditure. For example, you could notice that you’re spending $100 a month on gasoline, and aim to cut that by 20% or 90% or whatever you feel is both worthwhile and doable. You could notice that you’re spending 10 hours a day online, and aim to cut that time, say, in half, by focusing more deliberately instead of noodling aimlessly.

What are some areas in your life where you see opportunities to cut your footprint? And how would you like to measure those, what targets would you like to set?