In class Wednesday we were asked to use nature.org to calculate our carbon footprints. My carbon footprint is, currently, 17 tons of CO2 a year–less than the 27 ton average of American citizens, but significantly higher than the 5 ton world average. I was shocked to see how much lower the world’s average is than US citizen’s average. I already knew that Americans are tremendous energy users, but I had no idea that the difference was that stark.
Currently, my biggest energy user is my apartment–my roommate and I are currently not using energy-efficient lighting, and although we make some efforts to optimize our heating and air (such as turning the heat off when we both leave on weekends), I know there’s a lot more we could do. I didn’t know that my tiny, two-bedroom apartment could be such a huge energy user. My transportation is the second largest problem–although I don’t drive many miles per week, I do use my car for frequent, short trips around Stillwater.
This summer, I will be moving to New York for a job. I hope that once there, when I’ll no longer have a car to drive and will most likely not have AC in my apartment, my carbon footprint will drastically decrease. In the meanwhile, I know there are ways I can make changes here in Stillwater–for example, there is a bus stop outside of my apartment which I frequently opt not to take. However, by budgeting a few extra minutes to my commute time, it is very easy to make the switch to taking the bus. Additionally, energy-saving lightbulbs are a very inexpensive and effective change to make in my apartment, and organic food is not only good for the environment–it’s much better for me, as well.