Hello! My name is Xandra and I’m from the United States. My carbon footprint was 39452 pounds of CO₂ per year, which is lower than an average of 53573 pounds for Texas, USA but higher than the average of 8358 pounds worldwide.
My lowest carbon emission was purchases, which surprised me because I love to shop. Though, looking back, I realized I did more than I thought I did. I recycle as much as possible, turn down excess packaging supplies for my purchases, and hardly ever get new electronics. My second lowest was transportation, which was something I expected. We skipped out yearly summer trip to the Philippines this year, and I live very close to my school, most of my friends, and other locations I like to go to on the weekends like the mall or the movie theater.
What really shocked me were the activities that produced the highest carbon emissions: home and food. My home carbon emissions were the only average that was higher than the regional average. After reviewing the data, it made sense. Eight out of twelve months we use the air conditioner and four months we use the heater. A lot of the carbon produced was because of careless habits such as forgetting to turn off unnecessary lights or water. I use my laptop for hours at school and then I come home to use it even more for homework. I rarely turn it off unless I’m sleeping, and on Fridays I don’t even do that because I leave it on to do a scan for viruses.
Food was also unexpected, but understandable when you take into account that I eat meat most days. A lot of fossil fuels are used to raise animals who are slaughtered for their meat. There’s an article on http://www.earthsave.org/environment/foodchoices.htm that discusses this. One cow will require approximately 284 gallons of gas in its lifetime to keep up with its eating habits and general maintenance. That’s simply one cow, not to mention the multitude of animals of various species that are killed for food every day. The US also imports a significant amount of meat as well.
To better my carbon footprint, I think the best thing that I can do is just cut back on the small things like turning off electronics, lights, and water, as well as taking shorter showers. When it’s cold, I could opt for a blanket instead of a heater. When it’s hot, I can start up a fan instead of the AC. Maybe once a week or so, my family and I can eat a vegetarian dinner. We could also try to eat more locally grown foods, as they don’t need to be transported as far as other sources. If anyone has any other suggestions, post them below!