Monday, August 24, 2009
What's your annual carbon dioxide emission? You can find out at Erase Your Trace, a new tool from the City of Philadelphia. Erase Your Trace is a carbon calculator that estimates carbon dioxide usage by asking questions about your habits and behavior.
Whatever your usage is, Erase Your Trace aims to nullify it while increasing tree coverage. The project uses the CarbonPlus Calculator, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, to estimate carbon production. Using a carbon price at 20 dollars per ton, the price currently used by the Obama Administration, Erase Your Trace assigns a dollar value to your own carbon emissions. Users then donate part of that cost to The Fairmount Park Conservancy, which in turn will donate the combine money to neighborhoods for tree planting.
Trees help reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming, and they reduce other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and particulate matter. Philadelphia currently has approximately 2.1 million trees that sequester 16,100 tons of carbon per year. Philadelphia’s trees also reduce urban heat island effect, decrease stormwater runoff, and increase property values.
While Ms. Philly Organic knows we can't live without an impact and we can't simply erase our carbon emissions, we can plant trees, benefit the city and parks, and minimize the effect of our carbon output with a few clicks of the mouse. Why not learn more and reduce the effect of your personal carbon production?