Conservation International has just come out with its newly redesigned tool that can help us offset our carbon footprint – a carbon calculator. Using it, you can calculate your carbon footprint based on a number of personal behaviors and find how much or how little carbon you are producing – and how you make that number smaller and, therefore, better for the planet.

Using the latest data, the calculator was specially designed to measure specific lifestyle choices. Conservation International underlines that the tool is the first of its kind to connect its users directly to the carbon market so that they can purchase offsets that will help protect the environment. The organization particularly emphasizes the protection of the forests from carbon – by purchasing the offsets, users can help stop deforestation and fight climate change in such places as Chyulu Hills, Kenya, the Ambositra-Vondrozo Forest Corridor, Madagascar, and Alto Mayo, Peru, while at the same time granting support to local communities who depend on nature for their livelihood.

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“The future of climate action rests on all of us and the choices we make,” says Shyla Raghav, Conservation International’s climate lead. She points out that the carbon calculator was redesigned based on the feedback from users in order to make more accurate measurements and to engage users more directly in participating in the solution by making an investment in the protection of forests.

Once you calculate your carbon footprint and find your offset option, the tool also gives you a comparison of your footprint to the averages by country and quick tips on how to decrease the number, for example, related to your fuel economy, clothing choices, and thermostat settings.

Because of the sheer scale of the problem of climate change, it is often easy to forget that our individual choices and actions do matter and contribute to the reality of the issue at large. When it comes to our carbon footprint, our diet can be detrimental in a major way – one of the best things we can do to minimize the amount of carbon dioxide we are responsible for is reducing our consumption of meat and dairy and choosing more plant-based foods. Industrial animal agriculture is at the core of the environmental crisis we are facing today – it is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation system, uses the majority of the world’s fresh water stores, and much more. In fact, eliminating animal products from your diet for a year can halve your carbon footprint! Conservation International’s carbon calculator keenly includes a selection for your dietary choices, so go ahead and see how much ditching meat and dairy can impact your carbon usage!

To learn more about how you can start helping the planet by eating more plant-based foods, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

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Image source: nikolabelopitov/Pixabay