I am thinking about the footprints we leave on this earth.
We really try to do the right thing, but as Americans we have some bad habits.
I was looking for Carbon Footprint Calculators, and thought this one was the easiest (and coolest to look at) that I’ve found so far. (It’s also posted as a widget at the bottom of my blog.) Now, I do these periodically, just to see how a change we’ve made as a family has impacted our footprint. I was surprised at ours. The calculator breaks your footprint down in four categories:
Transportation Housing Goods/Services Food
My household came out normal in transportation. (Do you know how hard it is to find a car that will hold 6 people that gets decent gas mileage? IMPOSSIBLE!) But, we do try and combine our trips- getting all errands run on a certain day, etc.
In Housing we were high. We have an old house, which I love, but our energy bills are crazy. Not sure what to do there. We’ve gotten all new appliances that are Energy Star rated, have all energy efficient bulbs in our lighting, etc. I think our main problem is our heat/air unit. It is OLD and probably really inefficient (thus the crazy electric bill.) Insulation would help a lot too, I’m sure. Our gas and water bills though are lower than normal. (Yay for the rain barrels!)
In Goods/Services & Food we do much better than average. I really have been trying to make conscious choices when I shop (and if I shop.) Trying to buy everything local and Arkansas made is my first wave. I make my own cleaning products which saves on packaging. We are buying all our produce at a local farmer’s market. I get my eggs and cheese there too when available. We don’t eat red meat, which also saves on carbon emissions. Watching what type of packaging when you shop is important (but I’ll admit that is hard sometimes.) We buy clothes only when needed, and lots of times we find what we need at the local thrift store (but I do love Hanna Anderson for the kids!)