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Calculate your carbon footprint and offset it with Bulb

In September we told you about our Carbon Calculator, a new tool where you can calculate your carbon footprint, learn how to reduce it, and offset what you can’t reduce.

It’s a work-in-progress. We’ve been adding new features based on the feedback we’ve had so far, and the next version is now ready for testing.

In this post we look closer at how the carbon calculator works, how it compares to others you might’ve used, and about the projects you support if you offset your footprint with Bulb. 

You can now offset your carbon footprint with Bulb 

Not only can you use our calculator to work out the size of your annual footprint, you can now offset it too, in one single payment. Your money will fund carbon reduction projects run by ClimateCare, from protecting rainforest in Sierra Leone to supporting clean energy in other parts of the world.

They’re the same carefully selected projects we support to keep our gas 100% carbon neutral. Every carbon offset you buy through Bulb is verified by internationally recognised standards, including the Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.

Carbon offsetting alone isn’t enough to tackle climate change. The best thing we can do to reduce our carbon footprint is to cut the emissions our lifestyles produce in the first place. But offsetting is currently the best solution we have to compensate for the emissions we can’t avoid.

The Haikou project provides farmers in rural China with a biogas digester, which turns farm waste - that would otherwise be left to decompose -  into renewable gas. 

We ask you about areas of your life that have the biggest carbon impact

There are an infinite number of ways you can calculate your carbon footprint, because most things you do have an impact on the planet. From how often you fly, down to which type of shampoo you use. Even if you live off-grid, eat a plant-based diet, never take transport, and somehow manage to wear the same clothes you were born in, you’ll still have a footprint (albeit a very small one).

As a result, there are lots of carbon calculators out there. If you’ve tried a few, you’ll know each one gives you a slightly different answer. A calculator’s results are down to two things: the questions it asks, and the data behind those questions. Some calculators ask you several questions that really go into detail. Others have fewer questions, making them quicker to use.

We think a good calculator should strike a balance between the two. The latest version of our Carbon Calculator uses verified data sources and complicated maths to crunch its numbers, but it takes you just 5 minutes to do. It asks you about four areas of your life that often have the biggest carbon impact: how you travel, the food you eat, the things you buy and your home energy.  

We've tried to keep it simple, so you can start making changes to your lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint right away. Because of this, your result is an estimate. 

Our calculator asks you about areas of your life that have the biggest carbon impact: how you travel, the things you eat, the things you buy, and your home energy.

We’re improving as we go

We’ll be refining our calculator as we learn more about how people use it, so the questions will change slightly over time. 

There are already things we plan to improve, like paying in monthly instalments instead of offsetting your annual carbon footprint with one single payment.

We’re also looking to partner with experts in the industry, who can help us make the science behind the calculator more robust, so the result you get is as accurate as possible. And we’ll be improving the tips to reduce your footprint, personalising them so you can make changes specific to your lifestyle.

What else would you like to see in the calculator? Send us your feedback using this survey.

Or join the conversation in the Community.