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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Garett Amber, Oct. 24, 2013

This year in biology we did a bunch of stuff on the envioronment and one of the things we accomplished during this time was calculating our carbon foot print. I was personally expecting an average score but soon found out that it was actually quite below the average american. This gaved me not only a sense of pride but a goal on how i could maybe make it lower for not only myself but my family.
My highest score in this challenge was my home. In after though i realise i can reduce the number of florescent lights in my home to lower this. Another option that would probably reduce many peoples footprint as well as mine would be to install solar energy panels. This could not only provide heating for the home but could be used for energy. In all i think this could drastically effect not only mine but tons of other poeples carbon footprint by replacing say propane fueled heat which unlike solar heating will damagre our ozone layer furthering the destruction of our earth.

Garett Amber
Comments (1)
  • Ana M-Slovenia Ana M-Slovenia Feb. 12, 2014
    Well done, i think more people should make some changes in their way of life so they can help the planet :)

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
lauren boxold, Oct. 24, 2013

Students definitely contribute to carbon footprints. At school, classrooms are not always the best for the environment. Lights are on all day in classrooms, as well as other appliances such as heating and air-conditioning systems. These can be bad for the environment. And with climate change, heating and cooling systems will be used more often through out the year.
Students can do simple things to lessen their carbon footprint while they are at school. Recycling and using less water will help. Also having automatic lights turn on when there is movement in the room will reduce the amount of hours lights are on in classrooms.

lauren boxold
Comments (2)
  • Briana Slade Briana Slade Dec. 23, 2013
    I agree with your idea off the motion sensor lights because we waste so much electricity and water and things like that, it's really ridiculous. I think that all students should listen to review
  • Jerneja S-Slovenia Jerneja S-Slovenia Feb. 13, 2014
    I do agree with you. We really should be careful what we're doing because all this things are bad for the environment. Recycling and using less water will help for sure. :)

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Andrew W, Oct. 23, 2013

Hello, I recently did the Carbon Footprint Challenge as well and I wanted to give my response to it and about how this affects the environment: When I filled out the CFC online, two things became very clear: I was way above the average in travel and food, whilst lower on purchases and electric consumption at home. After looking at the number’s I understood why: I live in a house full of fluorescent light bulbs and have good habits about turning off lights, I’m a teen and need a high caloric intake, I travel a lot more than the average person does especially on plane trips, and I don’t really buy a lot of new items and clothes at all. After also looking through the questions and fiddling with the numbers on some things, I learned that fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent makes a huge difference, that planes bur a ton of carbon dioxide, that caloric intake is the biggest factor in carbon dioxide emissions, and recycling whatever you can.

Andrew W

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Madeline B, Oct. 20, 2013

Hi, My name is Madeline B, and I’m a Freshman in high school, in Northern California. In Biology class we have been working on the carbon footprint challenge for the past few weeks. In my prediction, before I used the calculator, I said that my footprint would be close to the same as the average American living in California. After I had seen my results, I was surprised to see that I was over the average amount! I wasn’t sure how this was possible. But when I went to look at my rates, I was really shocked to see how high my transportation and home uses were, and how low my food rate was.
My transportation rates were way higher than the average person in my area. I predicted this would happen though. I am involved with many outside of school activities, of which i need to drive to. Rounds trips of all my activities, come close to around 25-30 miles in the car. This is obviously polluting the air a lot. I also had a feeling my transportation results would be high, because I fly to San Diego once every 2-3 months to visit family. But when i saw my results were 1,741kg over the average, i knew i must make a change. I occasionally ride my bike to my practices, but I usually get a ride in a car. For the environments sake, I can start carpooling and riding my bike more during the warm seasons.
The next largest use on my carbon footprint, was my home. I have 5 people (including myself) living in my fairly large house. I have known that lights are always on in my house. Weather it’s my room or the kitchen, or the automatic lights that come on every night while I am asleep. After counting how many lights, including outside, it was crazy to see how many we actually have. Most of our bulbs are incandescent lights which are not as good for the planet. If my family were to change just half of all the light in my home to fluorescent, it would make all the difference.
Lastly, after watching my daily intake of calories and seeing that I am not taking in enough, i have decided to be more healthy. I am involved in many sports, meaningI must eat a lot to insure that my body is burning the right amount and enough calories when I exercise. I will continue to track my daily intake of food and calories to be the healthiest I can be.

Madeline B
Comments (3)
  • Conor Flannery Conor Flannery Oct. 21, 2013
    Wow Madeline! I have much of the same problems with my carbon footprint! I am giving off way too much carbon just from transportation and my house. I am thousands of kg over the average human in my area. I also feel that my region is much higher than the rest of our world. This means i could be SO much higher than somebody living in a poor country where they don't have cars or light bulbs. This makes me realize just how lucky we are but how sometimes we can't abuse that.

    Although I give off a lot of carbon, I know that there are people out there that give off more but also people that give off less. After this project i will keep my eye out for anything i can do to help our planet.This involves watching what i do and how i go about my day. Even such a little thing as turning off a light when leaving a room or capooling with your neighbor to school can help us keep humans here longer.
  • Spencer Ellis Spencer Ellis Oct. 24, 2013
    Wow I noticed that we have the same 2 factors that play the biggest roles in our carbon footprints! Travelling is a big one for me because I fly to Mexico about 2 times a year and it made my carbon emissions sky rocket! The average travel carbon emissions are 2557kg and mine was 3900kg. Huge numbers! I also noticed that you said that a lot of your carbon emissions came from your home as well. I too have a lot of incandescent lights in and around my house that are on daily throughout the day. I’m trying to make an effort to turn them off as much as possible when I’m not using them.
  • Corey Parham Corey Parham Feb. 27, 2014
    My carbon footprint was about average but my transportation was very low because I usually car pool or chill at the house. My home was the largest because our home doesn't have any energy efficient materials to use, which is something we should really change.

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Jessica Wendt, Oct. 20, 2013

My name is Jessica and I am from California. Not long ago I recently calculated my carbon footprint for school and found my results to be lower then the average person in California. I predicted that my results would be about average, after taking the test, I see why its lower.

Before taking the test I knew that my transportation would be lower than the average Californian, because I usually walk most places I go to, because I live close to everywhere I need to go. Or I take public transportation, and when I take a car I am usually carpooling with friends. I also don’t go on many trips during the year, to my family having crazy schedules and not much free time. The only time I really fly is over summer and that is only 2 plane trips. Therefore I understand why my transportation was ver low. I also knew my purchases would be lower too, when my family and I go shopping we bring our own reusable bag most of the time, we also don’t by new electronics very often, unless its something that we need. And we also buy reusable water bottles or we reuse plastic water bottles.

For home and food, I knew we would be closer to average because we don’t have many fluorescent lights and because of the amounts of months we heat our house and cool how house. And also from the amount of paper we use for printing school work, and the amount of time we are on electronic devises and because I rarely unplug my charger when I’m done charging my phone or laptop. I also new I would be close to average for food because of the amount of the amount of organic food we get and the amount of meat and dairy we eat, and the amount of times we go out to eat per week.

After seeing my results I am glad to not be over average, and to know how carbon does affect my life, what things I still can do to reduce my carbon footprint on the world

Jessica Wendt

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Maura Beattie, Oct. 19, 2013

My name is Maura and I am from Illinois.
Before completing my carbon footprint, I figured I would be a little lower than average because of the way my family and I live (transportation, shopping, eating, etc…). I recycle everyday and participate in composting at my school.

For my carbon footprint, I do not eat eat everyday during the week, I do not travel very often or have to drive places often, and I do not spend much money on shopping. Considering all of this, my carbon footprint was lower than the average: just as I predicted.

My carbon footprint is significantly lower than the average because of the meals I eat, the recycling I do, the purchases I make, and the amount of transportation I do.

I think Americans need to reduce their amount of carbon, because the amounts are destroying the environment and using natural resources in abundance.

To continue my low carbon footprint, I am going to reduce the amount of meat meals I eat a week and I am going to find more ways to reuse things.

Maura Beattie
Comments (4)
  • Mary Rapmund Mary Rapmund Oct. 23, 2013
    Hi Jessica! I think it's really good that even in California, you can stay under average. That's almost impossible for me at the moment. My results were far above average which really discouraged me. I've been trying, in the past weeks since I calculated my foot print, to be more energy efficient and encourage my family to support me. It's so unreal how all of the little things we do in life can affect such a big carbon footprint that humans have created. I think we all really do need to take a stand and do things to improve our own footprints and our species' footprint. We all need to work together to improve our environment because we want our future generations to enjoy it like we have enjoyed. I think that you have really good habits of conserving energy in our society. I think what we all get out of the Carbon footprint challenge is a motivation to do better. To improve our lifestyles and how we use energy. It really opens our eyes and gives us a new perspective on the world we live in and how we can improve and conserve it for future inhabitants.
  • John F John F Oct. 25, 2013
    I also had the same experience with my carbon footprint. I can understand how getting below average can be difficult for some people, but i glad that some of you are trying. I think that people living in developed countries need to find ways to lower our CO2 emissions and make these changes soon because of the way it is affecting our planet. i don't think that at our current rate of change we will be able to prevent some of the problems of climate change. but by making changes to our daily lives and being conscious of how our actions affect things i think that we can make a difference.
  • Camie Lukaszewski Camie Lukaszewski Oct. 25, 2013
    I think it's a really good idea to eat less meat. I forget how much meat, red especially, adds to our carbon foot print. Also if a dominant race like humans decided to raise people for meat we wouldn't be very happy about that, yet that's exactly what we do to so many animals.I Also agree that we are using a lot more than our share of the world's natural resources, and students all across the country are learning about it.
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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Charlotte D-USA, Oct. 19, 2013

I’m Charlotte and I live in California. I expected my footprint would be average or a little higher than that as I feel I dont do many acitvities that cause a higher footprint. Surprisingly, my carbon footprint was very high! It was at least double the average Americans carbon footprint. My main cause of my footprint was my transportation.

After I looked through my data more carefully, plane flights have been the major factor in my high carbon footprint. They take a lot of fuel that lets off carbon in different forms. Also, i have gone on many trips in the past year which led to a bigger carbon footprint. Food and home energy were next in my carbon footprint.

After comparing with my friends, we all have around the same carbon footprint. I infer that most Californians that live by me have a high carbon footprint. As I was trying to figure out a way to lower my carbon footprint, I thought of trying to car pool more often and limit my long flights. Also, we could all switch out our lightbulbs for more efficient light bulbs around our house. This project has made me aware of what an impact everything you do is to our environment.

Charlotte D-USA
Comments (1)
  • Scarlett Mijatovich Scarlett Mijatovich Oct. 20, 2013
    Hey Charlotte! I'm Scarlett and I also live in California. I figured that my footprint would be about the same as everyone else's as well but it turns out that mine is insanely lower! I've been comparing my results with other students who live in California and mine seem to be very different from everyone else's.

    While you say that you've traveled quite often withing the past year, I've hardly gone anywhere so my transportation footprint was very low. I also walk nearly everywhere since I live so closely to school and the city. What I did find very interesting was that my Home footprint was higher than the rest of my results, though still lower than average. I believe that this is because since I live in Northern California where the temperatures are constantly changing from hot to cold, I use the air conditioning and heater a lot over the course of a year.

    I believe that us American's can change our footprints for the better, all it takes is a little cooperation from the community. Your idea of carpooling is very smart for students our age while we have that as an option. I was thinking that we could also always ride bikes to not only clean the air, but to keep ourselves healthy as well. Thank you for posting; it has enlightened me on other student's thoughts and lifestyles in my area. I will continue to strive for a cleaner and more beautiful planet.
    - Scarlett

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Daniel Oliner, Oct. 19, 2013


I am a High schooler in the Bay Area and I recently calculated my Carbon Footprint in my Biology class. I figured my Footprint would be around average, seeing as my Mom drives a hybrid and I try and stay somewhat aware of how my actions can affect the environment. My results, however contradicted my hypothesis. My Footprint was shockingly high, nearly doubling the average American’s. I studied my results and noticed that my plane flights were the cause of the major spike in my footprint.

After noticing the effects the plane flights had on my Carbon Footprint I was motivated to search for a more efficient, practical way to fly. So I wondered what my government was doing to force aircrafts to be more climate-friendly. Then I ran into an article (link below) which stated that the EPA has refused to control pollution created by aircraft. It also mentioned that foreign governments, including the European union, have already attempted to control this major pollution source. So my idea is to force airline companies into using more climate-friendly methods, such as efficient engines and energy sources. This would not only help solve one aspect of climate-change, but also would contribute to the solving of global warming as a whole.

Calculating my footprint really opened my eyes to the ways I am hurting the environment. It also motivated me to try and be a part of the solution, not the problem, and I will continue to motivate myself, and others, to do the same.

Daniel Oliner
Comments (1)
  • Conor Flannery Conor Flannery Oct. 22, 2013
    I too had a lot of my carbon footprint taken up by flights i have been on. In the past year I've been on a total of 8 flights all being longer than 5 hours. This was a huge part of my transportation part of my footprint. But, I also drive many places for outside of school activities. Usually for sports i try and carpool but sometimes i drive alone. I notice this is slowly killing the Earth and if nobody helps stop it, it could be the end of all life on Earth and Earth could maybe become a new ball of heat in space, kind of like the sun.

    I like your idea about stopping airlines and making them more Earth-friendly. As you said this could help stop climate change slowly but also might lead to new ideas and help even more! But the only is problem is first we need to invent a more advanced and safer (for the planet) way to fly and create a new engine or new device in all like a wind or solar powered hovercraft!! These are just ideas that could slowly help climate change by limiting the amount of carbon every person gives off.

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Devyn Fisher, Oct. 18, 2013

Hi, I am from California and I just did the Carbon Footprint Challenge. I found my results interesting, even though they were about what I expected. My transportation was pretty good because I have a natural gas car. Everything else was about normal, though my transportation was a bit high because I took two long plane flights this last year to Washington D.C.

I was surprised that the average calorie consumption for males in California is 4020. Healthy people should be about 2500, so 4020 is way too high. My purchases are the lowest compared to the rest the of the region. I only have 531 kg of purchases even though the average in the region is 1191. I think this is because i almost always reuse things and I recycle a lot. I think the government could do more to promote recycling and and ways to release less carbon emissions.

I think it is crazy that the average emissions needed to make the environment stable would be about 1000kg per capita. That’s less then the average person in California uses for just food. We definitely need to cut down on our carbon footprint emissions. I thought that I did a lot to reduce my carbon footprint, but I could do a lot more. Right now I ride in a natural gas car and have LED lights, which both have 0 emissions. I think that now I am also going to start changing how I charge my phone. I usually charge my phone all night, but I think i am going to start only charging it a couple hours a day. Overall, I think the calculator was very interesting and let me know a lot about how I live compared to other people.

Devyn Fisher
Comments (3)
  • Kamille Castro Kamille Castro Oct. 18, 2013
    The study had opened my eyes as well as to how much carbon footprint i contribute to the mother earth. This made us aware of what we do and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. I, too, made changes on how I do my daily chores. Taking shorter shower, checking all lights, and unplugging unnecessary equipment may not help much, but collectively we could make a difference. I hope that many kids like us would do the same and help our planet to be in a better shape. One thing we can also do is to tell our friends and families that they too can make these changes and will help reduce carbon footprints. Nice work.
  • darrin b darrin b Oct. 21, 2013
    It seems like a good idea to drive with a natural gas car. And it's surprising that the average calorie consumption is 4020. Also the fact that we need to get our emissions around 1000kg per captia is unreal.
  • charlotte holbrook charlotte holbrook Oct. 24, 2013
    Hi Devyn, my results turned out similar to yours and i was surprised about a few of the same things as you. Flights had a huge impact on my carbon footprint aswell and it had surprised me because i hadn't even traveled that far. Also, I completely agree on your statement about how the government should/could promote recycling and reusing more than they already do because im sure if i was reminded and it was brought to my attention more i would recycle much more than i already do.

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Tamia Y-USA, Oct. 17, 2013

Hi my name is Mia, I live in Northern California and I’m also doing the carbon footprint challenge. One of the first things that shocked me was that due to my dislike for walking, my transportation footprint was two thirds more than the average for my region. For example I drive to school, home, mall, trips to San Francisco, and eating out. Even more shocking is that my purchasing footprint is ten times larger than my region, because when I shop, I buy high-end and name brand products.

I suppose when I move to Asia my carbon footprint for transportation will decrease due to taking the train. Likely things will cost a lot more so my purchasing footprint will sky rocket even more since I want to go live in Japan and South Korea.

Tamia Y-USA

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