Carbon Emissions Around the World

The average carbon emissions per person varies from place to place across the globe.  In America for example, each person was responsible for 19.8 tons in 2009.  China however, which is above the U.S. in total carbon emissions, was only at 4.6 tons a person (because they have a faster growing population).  By using a carbon footprint calculator, I was able to calculate the total carbon emissions (in a combo of home energy, driving/flying, food/diet, and recycling/waste) for my family and I (3 people) back home in western PA.  It came out to about 86 tons per year and then gave me some tips to help reduce that number.  I think if we all started to do a few small steps (like using more energy efficient lightbulbs and buying hybrid vehicles) we could lower our own and our nation’s carbon footprint a lot.

5 thoughts on “Carbon Emissions Around the World

  1. Jayson Chang

    There are a lot of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emission. However, since electricity and transportation each represents 38% and 31% of total CO2 emission, the suggestions you brought up ( “energy efficient lightbulbs and buying hybrid vehicles”) would be valid.

  2. Gregory Quentin Smith

    Great points made! Maybe we could lower our nation’s carbon footprint even more by doing away with lightbulbs and cars completely, replacing them with candles and horses. Not only would this be better for our planet, but it also would help turn a dull, lifeless evening meal into a romantic night by the candle light with a little horseback riding in between. The only downside would be the smell from all the horses everywhere, which could easily be doused by some scented candles.

  3. Carter Maclaren Law

    Erin, that is really interesting because I had calculated my family (4) carbon footprint and got 84 tons a year also! my mom just got a new car that gets way better gas milage then her old truck did and that dropped us down to 74 tons a year. its really surprising how much of an impact is made from just one member of the family switching from a SUV to a sedan! imagine how much of a difference would show if all 4 members of the family switched over.

  4. Tongtong Zhou

    I also used the calculator and the carbon footprint I personally generate is about 20 tons per year, which is lower than American average. I do not have a car that’s why the transportation part does not take a great contribute. The greatest portion is taken by home energy, especially on heating and cooling, I find it’s actually the biggest part for everyone as well. One thing I did not know before is that whether you eat organic food or not also contribute the carbon footprint. Organic food use natural methods to growing vegetables and raising animals and its actually healthier. I think more people should aware that.

  5. Erin Marie Pugh

    I just used the carbon footprint and my family of four’s result was 84 tons per year, we don’t compost, and we all drive SUV’s. If we would compost and recycle more I bet that we could do even better! I know that mine would be a lot smaller if I didn’t put so many miles on my car every week, or even traded my Explorer for a smaller more energy efficient car. All of the light bulbs in my house are energy efficient but we all have a bad habit of leaving them on when we’re not in the rooms. We also drink a lot of bottle water as most of us do, but if we got water purifiers think of how much we could even save there!

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