Determine Your Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. By making small changes to our actions, such as driving less or not at all, we can start making a big difference.

Daily transportation and business activities contribute a significant portion to greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, fossil fuel reliance, and air pollution. Understanding the fuel consumption and efficiency of your car is an important first action step in determining your carbon footprint.

Also known as “fuel economy,” fuel efficiency is a measure of how far a vehicle can travel per unit of fuel. In the United States, this is expressed as “miles per gallon” (mpg). Fuel efficient vehicles require less gas to go a given distance. When we burn less gas, we cut global warming emissions and produce less pollution, while spending less on gas. Improving the fuel efficiency of U.S. vehicles is a large step we can take to cut the country’s oil consumption. 

You can find your car’s rated fuel efficiency at fueleconomy.gov, or you can calculate your car’s actual efficiency.

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