Carbon Calculator

How big is my personal climate impact?

Use the Saanich Carbon Calculator to find out how many tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) you have emitted in a year. The lower your GHG emissions, the lower your impact on our planet's climate. 

Post your results online, and challenge yourself and friends to reduce your emissions and see who can get closest to zero fastest! (Use the Climate Action Guidebook [PDF - 12 MB] to help you make a plan.)

You can also check out three sample carbon lifestyles [PDF - 1003 KB] to see which one is most like you. 

(If you don't live in British Columbia please use a different calculator. These results will not reflect your emissions, as the emissions factors are specific to our region. Read more about the methodology.) 



Estimated Individual GHG Emissions (tonnes of CO2e)


Vehicle 1
Vehicle 1: Emissions
Vehicle 2
Vehicle 2: Emissions
Vehicle 3
Vehicle 3: Emissions
Air Travel
Use Flight Distance Calculator (opens in a new window) for calculating travel distance of a flight. Enter the total km flown (including return) per year for each range below.
Up to 463 km (Portland, Kelowna)
463-1,108 km (Sacramento, Calgary)
Over 1,108 km
Total Air Travel Emissions


Household Occupants
Electricty: Emissions
Natural Gas
Natural Gas: Emissions
Renewable Natural Gas
Renewable Natural Gas: Emissions
Propane: Emissions
Heating Oil
Heating Oil: Emissions

Food Consumption

Food Consumption
Beef/Poultry: Emissions
Poultry/Pork/Fish: Emissions
Cheese: Emissions
Discarded Food: Emissions

Consumable Goods and Waste

Most of the GHG impact of the goods we purchase occurs before we even get the product. We are collecting waste and recycling information here to estimate your purchasing habits, which is the key factor driving GHG emissions for this category. Textiles, plastics, metals, and paper typically have the highest GHG impact.

20L is roughly equal to one grocery bag (reusable, paper, or single-use plastic)

Plastics/Metals recycling
Paper recycling
Emissions of top consumables
Textiles/Clothing Emissions
Plastics Emissions
Metals Emissions
Paper Emissions
Total individual tonnes of CO2e per year (your carbon emissions)*



Food Consumption:

Consumble Goods and Waste:

What should my goal be? 

In order to have a chance of keeping average global warming to below 1.5 oC, global GHG emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 and reduced to net zero by 2050. This means we each need to start reducing our personal GHG emissions now, so that: 

  • We emit no more than 6 tCO2e this year
  • We reduce emissions every year thereafter, reaching the following targets:
    • no more than 3 tCO2e by 2030
    • zero tCO2e by 2050

You won’t be able to get to zero tCO2e using this calculator because even the least waste vegan diet has emissions associated with it (estimated here as 0.96 tonnes), and we all need to eat! This number will be revised as more data is available about the opportunities for carbon sequestration in agriculture.

Please note that the calculator only focuses on your personal emissions (those that you have control over) – it does not include the embodied emissions in your house, vehicles, belongings, or the roads, hospitals, government services, and other sources of emissions that form your per capita GHG emissions and are included in our community-wide targets. More information about the individual goal can be found here.

What's a "tCO2e"?

Short for "tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent," tCO2e is a handy way of talking about all greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, and refrigerants, etc.) together in the same measurement. 

What’s my global fair share?

We in Saanich are high emitters compared to other communities around the globe. The target above assumes that everyone in the globe is entitled to their current carbon emissions and that everyone must cut their emissions in half by 2030 and to zero by 2050.

However, it is much easier for those with large emissions to rapidly reduce them than for those who already have very small emissions. For example, asking those who frequently fly overseas to consider a local vacation to reduce their emissions is very different to asking someone living a subsistence lifestyle (living on the bare minimum food, water and lodging to survive) to reduce their emissions.

To that end, we can instead look at a “global fair share” of GHG emissions per person. One way to do that is to take the current global emissions and divide them equally between the Earth’s 7.8 billion people (not counting the people yet to be born!). Applying the IPCC reduction targets to this more equal allocation per person would cut the personal targets for 2030 above approximately in half.

How can I reduce my GHG emissions?

Reduce your GHG emissions:

About the methodology and your results

This personal carbon calculator uses a combination of different methodologies – learn more.