Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm Above Average

I just took one of those quick calculate your carbon footprint quizzes online, and guess what. My carbon footprint is above average! 

There were about 8 very generic questions that I answered that led to this conclusion. One of the questions was how often does someone in your house fly across country per year. My husband flies at least 6 times per year out to CA for business (we're on the east coast), and I think that one fact put us over the top. 

I wonder if these quick online quizzes that measure my carbon footprint are any more useful than the "how compatible are you and your dream guy" quizzes I used to take in Seventeen magazine (is that even still around?) when I was a teenager. 

There were not nearly enough actual facts measured in the carbon footprint quiz to really get an accurate picture. It asked what kind of cars we drove, but not how far we drove to work. We both work out of the house. That should be worth some extra points on the plus side of the quiz, shouldn't it?

I know that the point of this type of quiz is to get the taker thinking about the resources he or she uses and how it effects the environment. It's not a scientific evaluation at all. But I worry about someone taking one of those quizzes and then clicking on the link for a carbon offsetting site without really understanding all that goes into it.

If anyone has any easy to understand sources that explains the process of erasing your carbon footprint with carbon offsetting, I'd love for you to post what they are here. It's one area I am very unfamiliar with, and frankly I worry about a lot of it being a big scam.

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