At-Risk

Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.

Tuesday

12

January 2010

Determining Car’s Carbon Footprint

by At-Risk.org Staff, on agency, carbon dioxide, carbon footprint, effect, emissions calculators, footprint calculator, gases, global warming, government, greenhouse gas, protection

There are different ways of determining your car’s carbon footprint. But why is this important? Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect that greenhouse gases are having on the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas and the major emitter of this gas is motor vehicles. Global warming is causing climate change that is responsible for such things as flooding, food insecurity, devastation of coral reefs and marine animals, melting of the North Pole and the South Pole, rising sea levels, waterborne diseases, and other effects. Some of the effects of global warming are permanent and there is need for governments and individuals to be active in combating the phenomena. Most governments, including the United States government, tend to have protectionist policies and so it is up to individuals to rescue the planet – an example of what you can do is to reduce your car’s carbon footprint.

So, what is a car’s carbon footprint? This is the total set of GHG or greenhouse gases that your car produces. It is expressed in terms of carbon dioxide or its equivalent to other greenhouse gases that are emitted. You determine your car’s carbon footprint using a carbon footprint calculator. Many of such calculators are available online and offline and they give estimates that help you determine your car’s carbon dioxide emission vis-à-vis the emission of the average car. The calculator also indicates areas where you can improve to reduce your car’s carbon dioxide emission. With most carbon footprint calculators, the assumption is that one gallon of gasoline produces twenty pounds of carbon dioxide.

There are personal greenhouse gas emissions calculators that are meant for general measurement of emissions. These can be used with your car, with your home, or with a commercial building. You can buy the calculator or you can do calculations online. Online personal greenhouse gas emissions calculators are more advantageous because you end up spending less, they are convenient, and they have error correction capabilities.

If you do not have a carbon footprint calculator because of financial constraints or for any other reason, you can determine your car’s carbon footprint by making assumptions. If your car is emitting a lot of black smoke, then it has a high carbon footprint. This is also the case when the car is not running properly and when you are driving too fast.

You can determine your car’s carbon footprint by going to the agency offices of the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency in your state. They will advice you on how to lower your carbon dioxide emission. You should visit the website http://www.epa.gov for important facts about reducing your car’s carbon footprint and on information on how to determine your car’s carbon footprint.

From www.ghgprotocol.org/calculation-tools/all-tools, you will get a free guide on how to determine your car’s carbon footprint. You can choose between PDF documents that have guidelines on how you can do hand calculations of your car’s carbon footprint and spreadsheets that allows you to enter your values straightaway.

At-Risk.org Staff