University of Vermont

ENSC 1: Introduction to Environmental Sciences

ENSC 1 Assignment 3
Assignment #3- Carbon budgets and your ecological footprint.
 Due Date: October 8, 2013
  To complete this assignment, you will need to visit several web sites. First you’ll determine your household carbon budget, and then you’ll estimate your ecological footprint. Following each of these exercises, there will be a series of questions to answer.
  1. Your household carbon budget: go to to calculate your household carbon budget (Use Firefox.). You should do this for your home town, not your residence at UVM. You will need information about both home energy sources and usage and transportation (how many cars in the family, etc.) By filling in some simple data, you’ll be able to estimate how much carbon dioxide your household releases. Answer the following:
    a. What is your household's total carbon footprint (tons CO2/yr)? (1 point)
    b. How does the number you calculated in (a) compare to the average household in your town? (1 point)
    c. Which of the following, travel, home, food, goods, or services, accounts for the greatest percentage of your household's total carbon footprint?
(1 point)
    d. Briefly describe and discuss one step you could take to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released by your household. (3 points)
    e. How much would it cost you to offset your household carbon dioxide emissions?
(1 point)
    f. Do you think carbon offsets are an effective way to deal with climate change? Why or why not? (1 point)
  2. Your ecological footprint: go to to estimate your ecological footprint. Again, use your home for the series of quiz entries. Answer the following:
    a. What is an ecological footprint? (1 point)
    b. What is your calculated footprint in acres? (1 point)
    c. Which of the categories shown (e.g. fishing grounds, forest land, etc.) makes the greatest contribution to your footprint?
(1 point)
    d. Discuss two actions you might take to reduce your ecological footprint. (3 points)
    e. If everyone lived as you do, how many planets would we need? (1 point)
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Last modified July 03 2013 07:29 AM

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