Action Guide

How Do You Measure Up?

Difficulty: Difficulty: 1 Expense: Expense: 1 Savings: 0 lbs CO2 / $0 Bookmark and Share

Calculate your home's carbon footprint to better understand your savings potential.

Why You Should Do It

Like the saying goes, you can't manage what you can't measure.  Or, simply, if you don't know how much you're paying for energy, how do you know what you can save?  Use our simple carbon footprint tool to estimate how much money you spend on energy a year (electricity, natural gas and transportation) and how many pounds of carbon dioxide that energy produces.  It's an easy way to get a picture of your home's energy use and decide where to start saving.

What It Costs


How to Do It

  1. Select "Add to My Challenge" and pledge to calculate your carbon footprint.
  2. Gather up utility bills from the last year and make an estimate about how much money you spent on electricity, natural gas and transportation.  Don't worry, we'll give you the Minnesota average to start with!
  3. Enter your numbers in our simple carbon footprint calculator.
  4. Now, you know where you're starting - start saving by surfing the actions available on the Energy Challenge and pledging to save!
  5. Congratulate yourself for saving money and energy and making a difference for Minnesota!

Make It a Family Activity

Get the kids together and show them your utility bills.  Explain that the energy that you use in your home comes from other places and that using energy can cause pollution.  Give them a few easy actions to do - like turning off lights, fighting phantom load and washing clothes in cold water - that will help them save energy.  Don't forget to praise them plenty for the actions they take!

Common Misconceptions

A higher carbon footprint means that I'm a bad person.

Definitely NOT.  Every home has different energy opportunities, and having a higher carbon footprint number does in no way make you a "bad person."  Look, some of us have teenagers that insist on taking 30 minute showers, or spouses who need to drive a large truck for work, or keep small kids home durnig the day.  And that's okay!  There are plenty of things you can do to help you save money, stay comfortable and be good to the environment.  Your carbon footprint is a jumping-off point, not a verdict.

A lower carbon footprint means I don't need to do anything anymore.

Nice try.  Great job getting your carbon footprint down, but you have one big action left - tell other people about the Energy Challenge!  The more households in Minnesota signed up and pledging to save energy, the more benefits we all get.  Money spent in local economies, people with a little less stress in their lives, kids learning good energy habits from the get-go.  So spread the word and let others know about the website!


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