A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.

Calculate your carbon footprint with The Lifestyle CafeGlobal conservation organisation WWF has partnered with messaging solutions company BulkSMS to launch MyCO2Print, South Africa’s first mobile carbon footprint calculator.

WWF spokesperson Carolyn Cramer explained that MyCO2Print was primarily an awareness tool.

“It is far simpler than the carbon footprint calculators available on the web,” she said in a statement earlier this month.

“We wanted a tool which would enable South Africans to measure their carbon footprint in terms of travel and energy use, and to try to improve it on a monthly basis.”

MyCO2Print provides users with an approximate rand value of carbon emissions they are producing, with the calculation based on figures derived from the Stern Review.

According to online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released in October 2006 by economist Lord Stern of Brentford for the British government. It discusses the effect of climate change and global warming on the world economy.

“Although not the first economic report on global warming, it is significant as the largest and most widely known and discussed report of its kind,” the Wikipedia entry says.

The tool also records users’ data and allows for a comparison of results on a monthly basis. Youth focus

While MyCO2Print will be useful to everyone, Cramer says the organisation is particularly hopeful that it will be relevant to the “younger generation”.

“We envisage school teachers using it as an innovative tool in the classroom to educate [students] on climate change and the environment.”

To try out the MyCO2Print mobile carbon footprint calculator, sms the word “CO2” to 34017 using a WAP-enabled cellphone. The SMSs are charged at R2.

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