Planning to use a Carbon Footprint Calculator to measure your emissions? You can just fill in a questionnaire on one of the many Carbon Footprint Calculators available online.. Easy, right? WRONG. There’s much more to take into account.
How accurate is, or can a Carbon Footprint Calculator be?
To put in to perspective – If you want to get a Real idea of your Carbon Footprint you will have to take so many things into account
Take your food for example, if you had a steak for dinner last night to get the true Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with your you must calculate each and every resource that it took to:-
- Feed that cow
- Methane released when said cow exhaled throughout its lifetime
- The use of synthetic fertilizers and the use of slurry as a fertilizer
- The production, transportation and use of veterinary products
- The use of fossil fuels on the farm for heating and farm machinery
- The use of electricity on the farm
- Refrigeration use on farm
- Transportation of the cow to the meat plant
- The processing of beef and
- Transportation of beef to the retailers
- The transport of the steak to your kitchen (don’t forget you might refrigerate the steak also)
- The cooking of your steak – either gas or electricity
- Disposal of bones and wrapping
Can you imagine following this routine for EVERY individual item you consume, the energy you use in your home, your transport, services you use and each item/good you come in contact with day to day?
How can answering a few questions on a questionnaire give an accurate representation when in reality there are so many variables to take into account?