Treading Softly - Environmentally considerate living in a rural english home and garden

Treading Softly

Carbon Footprint

To assessCarbon dioxide our carbon footprint, requested data was fed into four online carbon calculators, their results put through a spreadsheet and customised based on data that the calculators did not ask for. Overall, my spreadsheet showed, based on the elements they included, that our 2009 Total Annual CO2 for one house and garden, 2 adults and 2 businesses, was 9,862 Kilos:

2009 Unit of Measure Units used 2009 CO2 per unit Total
Building Electricity KwH 5,215 0.43 2,242
Natural Gas KwH 0 0.19 -
Heating Oil Litres 1,794 2.68 4,808
LPG (Bottled Gas) Kilos 38 1.51 57
Firewood Kilos 1,000 1.04 1,035
Petrol for Garden Equipment Litres 50 2.31 116

Two individuals Car Travel Miles 9,580 0.167 1,599
Train/Bus Travel Miles 40 0.10 4
Air Travel Miles 0 0.87 -

  Total Annual CO2 Kilos emitted for 2 adults and 2 businesses 9,862












Focused solely on fuels consumed in travel and domestic use, these simple calculators do not attempt to include the CO2 embedded in the sourcing, production and logistics of the food, drink, clothing, household and consumer goods acquired and consumed. However carbon footprint calculations are getting more sophisticated....

Carbon Calculators

(2009) In the four calculators used there were many shortcomings, either because they simply chose to ignore a particular type of consumption, or because they cannot create an online calculator with the appropriate formulae. In my experience of them it was found that in some calculators:

These Calculators need to become more sophisticated (and run into several pages) to become trusted and credible guides to personal CO2 consumption.

The Carbon Footprint calculator

Carbon Calculators are evolving and becoming more sophisticated. This is an online carbon account system with Carbon Footprint

The ClimateCare.Org Carbon Calculator

A calculator for Flying, Car travel and Home Energy use. And an option to offset your carbon. Not as customised and detailed as mine at the top of the page but helpful in doing some primary calculations. Using this calculator, as a quick guide, flying a 1,000 miles uses 270 Kilos (0.27 of a ton) of CO2 and will be offset for £2 towards a diversity of CO2 reducing projects globally.

I used this Calculator and Offset service to offset our Air Travel for 2019.

In Autumn 2010 the book "How Bad are Bananas - The Carbon Footprint of Everything" was published by Mike Berners-Lee who has
completed life-chain calculations which consider and measure all the components of production, distribution and consumption for a variety of activities, food, drink and household items. He publishes his results in CO2 (or the CO2 equivalent of all the various greenhouse gases emitted) per item or activity. An enlightening book which changes perceptions of everyday items.