what's your carbon footprint?

A few weeks ago I took a carbon footprint test at www.earthlab.com. There's lot of sites like this you can find online, but I really liked this one because the quiz is a little more in depth, it shows you your results compared to your city, state, and country, gives you both your Earth Conservation Plan score and your carbon output, and you can make pledges that, when completed, lower your ECP score. Pledges can range from putting a filled plastic bottle in your toilet tank to reduce water use per flush, to bringing your lunch to work, to installing energy efficient appliances. No matter your situation, there are ways listed for you to change your lifestyle and help the environment.

The day I took the test, my ECP score was 213 and my carbon output was 4.7 tons. I was pretty proud of Ian and I, compared to the city (371/16.9 tons — slightly lower than our state average!) and compared to the United States in general (357/15.4 tons).

Since then, I've made lots of pledges. Some of them were things Ian and I were already doing (like reusable water bottles instead of buying water bottles) and some things were just minor changes I've had to make. In about 3 weeks, my score has dropped to 56 (no change in carbon footprint — everything there's about as low as we can get it until it warms up and I can walk to work again).

Some suggestions are big changes, but you can make a big difference with the just little things! Unplug your TV at night. Pack a lunch once a week. Turn off the lights. Close the fridge. Reuse. Recycle. "Consume less. Live more." Join us! I challenge you to take the quiz, make some pledges, and see how green you can get by Earth Day on April 22, 2009. And leave us comments — we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences!