- Carbon budgeting explained
- What should my carbon budget be?
- Okay... Does my carbon budget actually matter in the grand scheme of things?
- Decarbon's approach to carbon budgeting
- Suggested resources
- Related articles
Carbon budgeting explained
Carbon budgeting is a process of planning how much of an impact you'll have on climate change and reducing it as much as you can.
Your goal is to emit less than whatever budget amount you set. Ideally, your carbon budget is shrinking over time as you learn how to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
Carbon budgeting is similar to the normal financial kind of budgeting, but the key unit of measurement is CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) instead of just money. CO2e is a consolidated unit for all the different kinds of greenhouse gases there are that can contribute to climate change, and is commonly shown in grams (example: 1 kg CO2e).
Do you believe we should put a price on carbon? That’s carbon budgeting.
A carbon budget is essentially the same thing as a carbon footprint. The slight difference in terms is the idea that with a budget you have more insights to manage your footprint over time.
What should my carbon budget be?
It should be as low as possible! The actual number matters much less than the actual effort of reducing your impact.
That said, we suggest trying to limit your annual budget to 7 metric tons of CO2e per person in your household or organization (learn more on Carbon Brief). This is much easier said than done — the average footprint of an American household is 14.5 tons (16 US tons)!
You can set and adjust your budget in Decarbon from
Okay... Does my carbon budget actually matter in the grand scheme of things?
One person's carbon impact is a teeny tiny drop in the giant lake-sized bucket of global emissions.
But! Your personal carbon budget absolutely matters. For a few reasons:
- Millions of individuals and businesses actively striving to reduce their impact can make a difference.
- Educating yourself and your community on the biggest areas of climate impact can empower you to know where to focus your activism (protests, petitions, voting, etc) and have informed conversations. Knowledge is power.
- The urgent need to respond to climate change demands that we try every single thing we can to reduce our collective impact. Let’s go all in.
Decarbon's approach to carbon budgeting
Decarbon helps you easily budget your individual, family or organization’s carbon for free based on your daily purchases. Woohoo!
The process is to:
- Set up Your profile
- Link your bank (or use our estimator)
- Get in the habit of Carbon tracking
- Complete Climate Action
- Use Carbon offsetting
"Is Your Carbon Footprint BS?" by How to Save a Planet (podcast)
"Can YOU Fix Climate Change" by Kurzgesagt (YouTube video)
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