How far do you look? What do you calculate?
To Calculate a personal carbon footprint, you need to know what emissions to include and what to exclude. If you use one of the online footprint calculators that ask for miles traveled, distances, electricity usage, gas usage, kilowatt hours, type of automobile, you will have a good sense of your personal footprint. But obviously these are the easy answers- ones that can be found by looking at a bill or receipt. What about the indirect sources of Carbon dioxide that are unique to your lifestyle?
Your lifestyle has an impact on the amount of greenhouse gas you produce. For instance, the amount of greenhouse gas that is released as a result of food production for a meat diet is far more than that for a vegan or vegetarian diet, but does that mean this type of factor should be added to a carbon footprint calculation? Absolutely.
Someday, it will be possible to purchase goods and services that have carbon neutral built in. The socially responsible company, in my ideal, would also account for the amount of GHG that would come from disposing of the good, thinking of their product throughout the entire supply chain process and life cycle.
Until the day that you can purchase products that have offsets built in, wouldnâ€™t it just be easier to offset my carbon foot print in excess knowing that there are some things beyond my knowledge, control or calculation abilities?