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Here are the best apps and websites for measuring your carbon footprint.

We all want to be taking steps to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle, but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or know what can you do that will make the most impact?

The old saying treasure what you measure applies to the climate crisis because you can’t reduce something if you don’t know what you’re starting with.

Your personal carbon footprint is an estimate of the impact you’re having on the planet in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This assessment takes into account your activities from food and shopping, to transport and household gadgets, giving you an idea of how much carbon pollution you are responsible for every year. According to Oxfam, the global average is 4.7 tonnes. For each of us in the UK, however, that figure is a much higher 8.3 tonnes.

Related: Why you should check your carbon footprint

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommends an individual’s carbon footprint should be around 1 tonne per person – so we clearly have our work cut out for us if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

But no-one expects any of us to slash our carbon footprint by that much overnight, and instead of aiming for absolute perfection (which is impossible to keep up!), we need to all try to be a little more imperfectly sustainable. These apps and websites – designed to measure your personal carbon footprint and reduce it – are just the thing to steer us all in the right direction.

Best for a quick and easy overview of your carbon footprint

UN Carbon Footprint Calculator

The United Nations’ carbon footprint calculator is a straightforward, no-fuss way to get a good idea of your own personal impact. The website asks clear questions across three categories – household, transport and lifestyle – before displaying your total annual emissions next to UK and world averages.

Best for visualising your personal impact

Global Footprint Network

Measurements such as kilograms and tonnes can be difficult to visualise in any meaningful way, which is why we like the Global Footprint Network’s ecological calculator. This eye-catching, infographic-style quiz asks questions around food, housing and transport to reveal how your carbon footprint stacks up in terms of the number of planet Earths used and your own personal ‘Earth Overshoot Day’.

Best for learning about your lifestyle

WWF environmental footprint calculator

The WWF’s footprint calculator asks simple, straightforward questions about your home, diet and everyday activities to come up with your personal carbon footprint in terms of tonnes. It also gives an illustrative view of where your lifestyle is having the biggest environmental impact, and – helpfully – personalised tips and advice for areas where you could make the biggest difference.

Best for getting competitive

Capture

The sites above are great places to get a basic understanding of your carbon footprint, but they do rely on you having a lot of information to hand already. Capture is slightly different in that it actively tracks your daily carbon emissions based on the transport you use and the food you eat every day, which helps to paint a more detailed picture of your overall impact. What we really like, however, is its Communities features, which allow groups of people – your colleagues or housemates, for example – to share individual progress with one another and go head-to-head with challenges and leader boards. Perfect for those who like a bit of friendly competition!

Best for forming a new green habit

Do Nation

If you’re already largely aware of your carbon footprint and know where you could be making some positive changes, check out Do Nation. This app encourages you to pledge a ‘Do Action’ for just two months, and gives you plenty of encouragement, tips and support along the way. Choose anything from cycling to work to using a reusable coffee cup, to avoiding palm oil. Make it your focus for two months and you’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes second nature!

Best for making a long-term lifestyle shift

Giki

Giki encompasses all of the main features of the sites and apps listed above, making it great app for those looking to completely switch up their lifestyle. First, answer straightforward questions to get an initial estimate of your carbon footprint, then track your everyday progress, sign up to monthly challenges, choose specific changes and behaviours to focus on, and team up with your family or housemates. You’ll get loads of tips and daily reminders to keep you on track, and every month you’ll get an updated Giki score, so you can really see how your efforts are making a difference.

The bottom line

Knowing where to best make a positive lifestyle difference can be a bit confusing, One Home’s top ten tips is a fact-filled guide to help you on your journey but technology is also here to help. There are dozens of apps and websites that will help you make greener choices in your day-to-day life, cutting your carbon footprint and enabling you to do your bit in the global fight against climate change. Try one today -

 

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