What is your carbon footprint?
Your carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels. This can be calculated by factoring in electricity usage, gasoline consumption all the way down to how much money you spend on clothing per year.
Why is this important?
By now almost everyone has heard of Global Climate Change or "Global Warming". Green house gasses produced by human consumption is responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. The effects of global climate change are catastrophic. Some of the consequences include: more frequent and severe weather, higher death rates, dirtier air, higher extinction rates, more acidic oceans, and higher sea levels.
Looking at the United States:
With respect to the united states a recent study conducted by students at MIT showed that most americans even those who consume minimal energy, are producing more than double the global per capita average. To further demonstrate this difference the same study found that in the U.S the average annual carbon dioxide emissions was 20 metric tons per person. The world average is only 4 metric tons per person.