Eco-Schools USA Pathways
Calculating Your Carbon Footprint
"Carbon footprint" is an expression that describes how much carbon dioxide a person (or entity such as a school) releases over time. Assessing your school's carbon footprint is a way to measure the impact your school's activities and behaviors have on the environment. The more energy, paper, and other supplies your school uses, the bigger your school's footprint or impact.
Before assessing your school's carbon footprint, we recommend that you have your students take a look at their own personal footprint. See directions below:
1) Personal Footprints. To begin the process, have students use the calculator at Meet the Greens to determine their personal carbon footprint. When students have their results, review their footprint scores as a class and discuss which activities emit the most and least carbon. Have students think about specific actions they could take to reduce their own footprints.
NOTE: The personal footprint audit is not required, but an optional step to help prepare students for completing the school footprint audit.
2) School Footprint. Next, use our climate change audit form and accompanying carbon calculator to determine your school's overall carbon footprint. You will use the data you collect to create your Climate Change Action Plan.
Follow these three steps to complete your climate change audit:
(Note: Make sure that you hold on to your completed audit form and Excel spreadsheets. When you get to the monitor and evaluate step you will want to complete the auditing process again using these forms.)
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