Your total savings: 0 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

This is equivalent to the emissions from driving a car 0 miles.

There are many things you can do to help reduce climate change and its effects on people and the environment. Use this calculator to learn about some simple steps you can take to reduce your impact on the planet.

##### Instructions:

Select “Yes” if you will take an action, or “I already do this” if you are already taking this action.

Learn about an action by following the “Find out more” link.

See the results of your actions in the box at the top right.

At the end of this exercise, you will also see the total impact if all the students in the United States were to take the same actions as you.

This calculator requires you to have JavaScript enabled. A spreadsheet version (Xlsx) (37K, Excel Viewer) of the calculator is also available; it includes descriptions of the formulas used in each step of the calculator.

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Reducing Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By using less energy, recycling, and creating less waste in your day-to-day life, you can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that go into the Earth's atmosphere and cause climate change.

Whenever you turn on a light, plug in a video game, or use your computer, a power plant has to create more electricity. Most power plants burn fossil fuels (such as coal, natural gas, or oil) to make electricity, and burning those fuels produces greenhouse gases.

The materials and energy used to manufacture products; the fuels and packaging used to transport these products to stores and homes; and the wastes generated along the way all result in greenhouse gas emissions.

A note on measurements: The savings in the calculator are given in pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent. Burning fossil fuels and generating waste lead to the emissions of several kinds of greenhouse gases, each of which has different heat-trapping qualities. For example, a pound of methane traps 25 times more heat than a pound of carbon dioxide. Because carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, the emissions of other greenhouse gases are often reported in equivalent amount of carbon dioxide: for example, a pound of methane is expressed as 25 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Details on the Individual Actions

Please note that this calculator is intended to give you a rough idea of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you could avoid by taking the actions listed. Your actual results might vary from those shown here because the calculator uses general assumptions about the amount of energy that the average American uses for different tasks.

### Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. 0 pounds of carbon dioxide

Will you take this action?

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Turn off the Tap

Turn Off the Water When You Brush Your Teeth

It takes a lot of energy to deliver and treat the water you use every day. American public water supply and treatment facilities use about 56 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually—enough to power more than 5 million homes for an entire year. Letting warm water run for two minutes twice a day while brushing your teeth uses 180 kWh over the course of a year, about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 8 hours every day for an entire year.

If you shower for just one minute less than normal, you can save 100 kWh in a year. If your family installs a WaterSense-labeled shower head, each person in your house can save 120 kWh in a year.

• Turn off the faucet while doing dishes.
• Make sure that any leaky faucets or toilets get fixed, especially hot water faucets.

### Turn off the lights when you are not in your room. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many hours a day will the lights be turned off?

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Turn off the Lights

Don't forget to turn off the lights when no one is in a room. The annual energy consumption of a standard 60-watt incandescent light bulb is 55 kWh, assuming that the light is on for 2.5 hours a day. This calculator assumes that you have two 60-watt bulbs in your room.

### Count all of the light bulbs used in your home. Ask your family to replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many light bulbs will you replace?

Find Out More

Replace Light Bulbs

Ask your family to replace your light bulbs with new bulbs that have earned the government's ENERGY STAR label for energy efficiency. Even if you just change one bulb in your bedroom light, you can reduce your home's energy use by 43 kWh annually, which means preventing 66 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

• Visit the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Kids page for more information.

### Bike or walk to school instead of getting a ride. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many days a week will you bike or walk to school?

### Reduce car trips for activities outside of school. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many activities outside of school do you currently get a ride to?

How many trips will you take by biking or walking instead of getting a ride?

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Stretch Those Legs

If possible, bike or walk to and from school and other activities to reduce your carbon footprint. Cars are a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Using alternative transportation will save 1 pound of carbon dioxide emissions for every mile you travel. This calculator assumes that the average person travels 1 mile to get to their destination.

### Take the bus or other public transportation instead of getting a ride to school. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many days a week will you take the bus or other public transportation to school?

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Travel Together

Use Public Transportation

Instead of taking a car to school, use the bus, subway, or other public transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The calculator assumes that you travel 3 miles to get to school. If you don't take a car, you'll avoid 1 pound of carbon dioxide emissions for every mile you travel using public transportation, and even more by biking or walking.

### Ask your family to help arrange a carpool with your friends for going to or from school. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many days a week will you carpool to school?

If you carpool, how many other people will be in the car (excluding you)?

Find Out More
Travel Together

Carpool

Help your family arrange to carpool whenever possible to reduce your carbon footprint. The more people you travel with, the more emissions you can save! This calculator assumes that you travel 3 miles to get to your destination. The calculator divides the car's emissions by the number of people you're carpooling with in order to figure out each individual's share of the emissions.

### Recycle magazines. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

### Recycle newspaper. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

### Recycle glass. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

### Recycle plastic. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

### Recycle aluminum and steel cans. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

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Don't Trash it

Recycle at home—and wherever else you go! Schools and many public places, including stadiums and parks all over the United States, have recycling programs. Recycling paper, bottles, cans, and other items will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by the following annual average amounts:

• magazines = 15 pounds
• newspaper = 90 pounds
• glass = 7 pounds
• plastic = 19 pounds
• metal = 86 pounds

If you recycle all these materials, you could avoid a total of 217 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Learn more about reducing, reusing, and recycling.

### Turn off the television when you aren't watching it. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many hours a day will the TV be turned off?

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Give it a Rest

Turn Off Televisions, Video Game Systems, and Other Electronics

Before you leave home, turn off your electronics. TVs, DVD players, computers, and video game systems use a lot of energy when they are left on. The annual energy consumption of a TV is 184 kWh, assuming it is on for about 6 hours a day. The average video game system uses 52 watts of power when it's in left on but not in use (some use more, some use less). Reducing the amount of time you use these devices can also save a lot of energy. Even if you turn off the TV for one extra hour, you will be helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

Even better, unplug your electronics when you're not using them. To save the time and hassle of unplugging all the components of a computer or an entertainment system, you could plug them into a power strip or surge protector that can be turned off with a single switch (surge protectors still work even if switched off). Unfortunately, some devices must be left on at all times to ensure proper functioning.

• If someone in your family is buying a new TV, ask them to consider one that is ENERGY STAR certified. TVs that carry that ENERGY STAR label are as much as 30 percent more efficient than conventional models–which will save money on your family's electricity bill, too!
• The average home has two TVs, three phones, and one DVD player. If every home in the United States replaced these items with ENERGY STAR qualified models, it would prevent the emissions of 25 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 2 million cars.

### Turn off video game systems when you aren't using them. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many video game systems do you have?

How many hours a day will these devices be turned off?

Find Out More
Give it a Rest

Turn Off Televisions, Video Game Systems, and Other Electronics

Before you leave home, turn off your electronics. TVs, DVD players, computers, and video game systems use a lot of energy when they are left on. The annual energy consumption of a TV is 184 kWh, assuming it is on for about 6 hours a day. The average video game system uses 52 watts of power when it's in left on but not in use (some use more, some use less). Reducing the amount of time you use these devices can also save a lot of energy. Even if you turn off the TV for one extra hour, you will be helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

Even better, unplug your electronics when you're not using them. To save the time and hassle of unplugging all the components of a computer or an entertainment system, you could plug them into a power strip or surge protector that can be turned off with a single switch (surge protectors still work even if switched off). Unfortunately, some devices must be left on at all times to ensure proper functioning.

• If someone in your family is buying a new TV, ask them to consider one that is ENERGY STAR certified. TVs that carry that ENERGY STAR label are as much as 30 percent more efficient than conventional models–which will save money on your family's electricity bill, too!
• The average home has two TVs, three phones, and one DVD player. If every home in the United States replaced these items with ENERGY STAR qualified models, it would prevent the emissions of 25 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 2 million cars.

### Unplug chargers when they are not in use. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many chargers do you have (for example, cell phone, MP3 player, camera)?

How many hours a day will you will you unplug them?

Find Out More
Give it a Rest

Unplug Charging Devices

Even when you are not using them, chargers for your cell phone, MP3 player, camera, and other electronics still use energy, so unplug these devices when you're not using them.

### Enable the sleep feature on your computer. 0 lbs

Will you take this action?

How many computers do you have?

Find Out More
Give it a Rest

Enable the Sleep Feature on Your Computer

Make sure the sleep feature is turned on for your computer. This will let the computer take a nap while you are not using it! For the average American, the annual energy savings from enabling the sleep feature on a computer and monitor is 235 kWh.

Based on what you're already doing, you're avoiding 0 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, compared with the average American.

This is equivalent to the emissions from driving a car 0 miles.

If you take the additional actions that you checked above, you will avoid another 0 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

This is equivalent to the emissions from driving a car 0 miles.

##### Multiply Your Results

If all the students in the United States took the actions you checked, together they would save a total of 0 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

This is equivalent to the emissions from driving a car 0 miles.

This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 0 cars.

Find Out More
Other Actions You Can Take
• Bring reusable bags when you go shopping.
• Don't leave the refrigerator door open! This lets cold air escape, making the refrigerator work harder and use more energy. Decide what you want before you open the door.
• Only wash clothes when you have a full load of laundry, using cold water when possible. If you need to wash your favorite pair of jeans, offer to do some of your family's laundry in the same load.
• A household dryer uses an average of 750 kWh per year, which means a lot of energy is used to dry your clothes! So don't run the dryer for just a few things; dry a full load.
• Pack a waste-free lunch. Did you know that the average student produces 67 pounds of trash over the course of the school year just from the packaging that comes with their lunch? Waste requires energy for disposal, so packing your lunch with reusable or recyclable items can help save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about waste-free lunches.

There are many more things you, your friends, your family, and your school can do to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about climate change and what you can do to help by exploring all the sections of this site.