What Is the Carbon Footprint of the Average American?
In the United States, each person’s average carbon footprint is 16.5 metric tons (or 6 global hectares) of carbon dioxide each year. That’s more than three times the global average of 4.9 metric tons per capita (or 1.7 global hectares).
In 2008, students at the University of Michigan studied the average footprints of Americans with various lifestyles to come up with a more shocking figure. They discovered that even the smallest carbon footprints in the United States were twice as large as the worldwide average.
Our enormous carbon footprints are especially concerning when it comes to our planet’s biocapacity. “Biocapacity” refers to an ecosystem’s ability to offer all of a population’s resources and absorb its wastes, taking into consideration the available management practices and technology at the time.
Earth’s biocapacity, lies at 1.7 global hectares per person. This means that each human being is given 1.7 gha to live within the confines of our one planet’s resources. Wait for it…
At the moment, humanity’s ecological footprint is overshooting—on average, we’re using 2.8 gha per person. This is over 70% more than the amount of biocapacity accessible to each person. However, the average carbon footprint of Americans exceeds the available biocapacity by 3.5 times! Quite astounding, to say the least.
David Lin, Global Footprint Network advises that everyone aims to reduce their carbon footprint to as close to the global average of 1.7 GHA as possible. A perfect carbon footprint would enable us to live within the constraints of our one planet. However, the ideal situation would be to go lower than the recommended 1.7 GHA.
How Can I Reduce My Carbon Footprint? — 8 Important Ways To Reduce Your Daily Carbon Footprint
Don’t be alarmed by your results, no matter how high your carbon footprint is. There are several things you can do to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your carbon usage. You can make the biggest effect by: