Calculating the Carbon Footprint of everything in your house

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One of the first questions we asked at FootprintFacts was: “How much carbon dioxide does boiling a kettle release?” We wanted to know what the worst thing to do for the environment in the home was, and how much carbon dioxide they release exactly. We decided we would come up with a method to find the carbon footprint of anything that uses electricity in the home.

In order to calculate the carbon output of home appliances we need to know 2 things.

  1. The energy the appliance uses
  2. How much carbon dioxide is released when you use electricity in the home

The first part is pretty simple. All you need to do is to find the wattage of the appliance you are using (how much energy it uses per second) and the time you use it for. Take a kettle, for example. The wattage in a kettle is around 2600W and it takes about 2 minutes to boil a kettle. If we use the equation:

Energy = Power x Time

We can calculate that the energy used to boil a kettle is about 312 kilojoules.

Next, we need to find how much carbon dioxide is released for each kilojoule you use in the home. To find this we use a statistic from the government carbon emissions report, which tells us that 0.05g of carbon dioxide is released per kilojoule. 

If we multiply 0.05 x 312 we find that the carbon output of boiling a kettle is 15.6g. If you use the same method you can calculate the carbon impact of any home appliance. We recommend either finding the wattage of your appliance on the manual it came with or the producer website.

If you want to compare the impact of home appliances and more, use the comparisons feature on our website.

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