Tools to track your carbon footprint

Act on Co2 logoThis weekend I watched a polemical documentary on the global warming debate called The Great Global Warming Swindle. The makers claimed that the entire man-made global warming debate was a sham and that the whole process was very natural. The theory was that it was nothing more than an attempt by governments and corporations to extract more money out of people through carbon taxes. The documentary was certainly persuasive although I couldn’t help feeling that surely, even if we’re not directly responsible, the amount of CO2 that we produce can’t be helping – or at least is speeding-up the process to an unhealthy extent.

Whatever your take on the matter, what can be said with certainty is that it surely can’t hurt to reduce your carbon footprint. Last year I wrote about MakeMeSustainable which is an online project to track your carbon footprint online. However, having had my interest re-stimulated in the debate, I’ve recently discovered a few more sites which offer alternative ways of calculating or tracking your carbon footprint.

If you’re based in the UK, then the Carbon Rationing Organisation offer a simple utility to calculate your footprint which can be completed online. The program allows you to calculate your carbon output for regular commuter trips and display the results in graphical format. Meanwhile Carbon Footprint offer a much simpler tool but a more proactive approach which calculates your carbon output in tonnes for flights. Once calculated, you can then offset some of your contribution by donating to organisations and projects that are fighting against increased CO2 emissions such as the Clean Energy Fund or replanting trees in the Third World. Probably the most fun especially for kids, is the UK government’s Act On CO2 Calculator which is packed with graphics although is very heavy on the use of Flash.

Note that all of these projects are aimed at individuals but if you want to make your company more responsible, then Verisae Carbon Footprint is a professional package aimed to calculating the output of heavy industrial plants. If you’re sceptical about the merits of making your organisation more responsible for it’s carbon emissions, then this article in Redmond Magazine spells out the benefits and issues in black and white.

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