Calculating Your Emissions Profile

May/June 2005
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2005
The amount of carbon emissions that each of us is responsible for, and the sources of those emissions, may surprise you.
        Most people—even those who are motivated to become more environmentally responsible— are not very familiar with the energyand carbon-related impacts of their dayto- day activities. Some people think that turning off lights, recycling cans, and becoming vegetarians are the most significant choices they can make. Although these behaviors often reduce energy use and CO2 emissions, their overall effect is minimal. Meanwhile, unwitting persistence in other activities, such as frequent air travel and using electricity as a source of heat, can lead to significant energy use and CO2 emissions.Well-designed and credible consumer information campaigns are needed to help consumers make better-informed and more-effective choices.         As a first step toward making effective choices, consumers need to be informed about the energy use and the related environmental impacts of their activities; in short, each consumer needs to understand his or her own profile of CO2 emissions.         Several tools are available to help people acquire that knowledge.Home Energy Saver (, developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is an online tool that demonstrates energy use and expense by end ...

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