tools we can use: open source sustainability

colored barrels

There's a new 'open source' site for sharing ideas and data about how to create a sustainable environment.

What knowledge, actions, laws, products, construction practices, transportation, software, and inventions do we need to stop global warming?

Open Eco Source is the place for this vital form of collaboration for compiling knowledge and distributing good strategies across the world.

For example, there are links to five different tools for calculating your personal impact on emission of carbon dioxide.

I notice that EPA's personal emissions calculator is better than most on the OpenEcoSource list, in that its interactive display shows the carbon savings associated with each element of your energy consumption.

You can obtain a 'ballpark' estimate of your family’s greenhouse gas emissions, then move on to explore actions your family can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.

See how much carbon you can save by switching to compact fluorescent lights, or a higher mpg vehicle, or recycling all your newspaper, glass, plastic and cans.

It also provides to other calculators that provide a more detailed analysis of fuel costs and emissions from your car, your home energy use (electricity, gas, and oil) and emissions, and your recycling and waste management initiatives.

A spreadsheet version of the calculator is also available that includes descriptions of the formulas used in each step of the calculator, plus an explanation of the assumptions and sources used by this calculator.

And, for the data freak, there's a methodology section that shows how per capita emissions estimates are derived from national estimates of GHG emissions.

There's a lot we can learn by playing with these tools, before we go to work on reducing our footprint.

Published by Ken on May 11th, 2007 tagged Systems Thinking

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