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The Basics

How big is your carbon footprint? Your carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment by your activities over a period of time. Activities that affect your carbon footprint include driving, flying, and using energy sources to heat or cool your home. Do the math and it may surprise you how big your footprint is.

On average, each person in the United States contributes 27 tons of carbon dioxide emissions (releases) per year. Wow! That’s a big footprint, and we’re only talking about one of the major greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

We know that rapid increases in greenhouse gases can affect climate change and the health and well being of ourselves and the planet. Nearly every person on Earth engages in activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. We can all do our part to help curb climate change and protect the future of our planet.


Did you know ?

Some people who fly often choose to buy “carbon offset credits.” These credits fund activities that lower the impact of the greenhouse gases produced by their flights.

Learn More

Explore the links below to hear some inspirational stories and get some great ideas about what you can do to protect the environment.

Read About It Read About It

Alliance for Climate Education (Alliance of Climate Education) - Organization on climate science education for high school.

Your Planet Needs You (Energy - Interactive website with information about the environment, the climate, and impact humans have.

Games and Activities Games and Activities

Climate Challenge (British Broadcasting Corporation) - Game that teaches about climate change and its effect on global economies.

Climate Kids (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) - NASA's Eyes on the Earth website has information, activities, and videos for kids on weather and climate, air, oceans, and more.

Welcome To Recycle City (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) - Interactive website exploring how the Recycle City's residents recycle, reduce, and reuse waste; games and activities included.

Videos Videos

A Way Forward: Facing Climate Change (National Geographic) - Documentary outlining the global impact and devastating effects of climate change and presenting scientists’ views.

Homework Help Homework Help

Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) - Describes the relevance of the Clean Air Act, key elements of it, how it works, and information on ways to reduce air pollution.