Best Apps & Online Tools for Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

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green car

This may be something that interests you from a morbid point-of-view, or something that you want to work out so that you can offset your personal carbon footprint by planting trees. Given the Western World’s appetite for fossil fuels and fast cars, it might be that you need to buy a lot of acorns!

Here are the best ways you can work out how much damage you do to poor Planet Earth:

Smartphone apps

United Nations Environmental

Well, if the UN releases a carbon footprint app, you’d expect it to be good and this doesn’t disappoint. Input the relevant data and they’ll tell you how that equates to the required replanting in a particular ecosystem. So if you wondered how much of an Amazonian rainforest you’d need to restock to offset that car journey to the south of France on holiday, this is the app for you. Free of charge

Zero Carbon

Listing the steps you can take to reduce your personal footprint, this app was developed in Chile. Connect with friends on Facebook to compare results as well as world averages. You can go directly through to offset payments. Free of charge.

The Extra Mile

Calculate your carbon dioxide emissions before you even set off. Perhaps you’ve set yourself a limit on the journeys you’ll take? This will help you plan to avoid going over that limit or see where you can make some cuts in general.

My planet

For android phones, this app is fun for kids and adults. Visualising your carbon footprint with your own slice of the planet. Your choices and actions daily affect your planet and only you can help to keep it as green as possible. Free of charge.

Online tools

Carbon Footprint

Calls itself the web’s leading carbon footprint calculator and is for businesses of all sizes. Great for companies who want to know that they’re doing their bit for the environment. Improve your ‘green creds’ with official ratings and certificates. People like that sort of thing.

WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator

Measure your footprint in just 5 minutes with the World Wide Fund for Nature. Go through food, travel, home and ‘stuff’ questions. It’s really quick and easy and will tell you how many planets would be needed to support such a lifestyle. (For the sake of full disclosure, the author got 2.94 planets… scary!).

Direct Gov Calculator

Very nice visual calculator from the government with a tailor-made plan for you to follow at the end. It’s much more detailed than the WWF one above and takes into account fuel bills, appliances and travel. Set aside quite a bit of time to fill in the details correctly for the best use of this calculator.

image credit: Michael Caven

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.