By now, it is definitely not a surprise that pollution is destroying our planet. Luckily, if we choose to make significant changes soon enough, things can and will get better. Before we can make these changes however, we must be aware of the impact that our individual lifestyle choices have had on both our health and our environment by calculating our carbon footprint.

What exactly is a carbon footprint?

As defined by Timeforchange.org, a carbon footprint is, “the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame, usually calculated for the time period of a year.”the-carbon-footprint

To calculate your carbon footprint:

1.) Visit a trusted page with a built in calculator such as:

- http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/

- http://www.carbonfootprint.com

(You will use this calculator to determine the numbers that will make up your total  footprint.)

2.) Enter your zip code

3.) Input the total number of people living in your current household and the total number bedrooms

4.) Add all your vehicles and their individual consumption units

5.) Indicate roughly the amount of miles you traveled by plane, train, and bus in the past year

6.) Input the total amount (in dollars) of electricity, water, natural gas, and heating oil or other fuels you have used in your home in the past year

7.) Input your home's total square footage

8.) Next, determine the amount of calories ingested by the people in your household (in accordance with all five food groups)

9.) Lastly, determine the monthly amount you spent on goods and services in the past year

Once all the values are entered, you’ll get your carbon footprint number. This site, along with many others such as www.cotap.org  and carbonfund.org, will provide you with tips and recommendations on how you can alter your lifestyle to help contribute to our planet in a healthier and greener way.

While you’re at it, you may also want to visit sites such as Tree People, a tree based organization that plants trees, which absorb, remove, and store the C02 while releasing the oxygen back into the air—something that is crucial to the healthy state of our planet.