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Calculating What It Means to Be Green

Since being green is no longer just about the feel good benefits, bragging about your waste reduction habits or the cutting-edge solar panels on your roof doesn’t quite impress the more savvy consumer, looking to be environmentally responsible while saving money. As a result, more emerging tools help people know exactly why going green can also be about saving themselves the other kind of green.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s (CNT’s) calculators, like the Green Values Stormwater Calculator and TravelMatters Emission Calculator, help you to figure out the costs–benefits of your actions, as well as providing information on how to change habits that may be costing you more and impacting the planet more severely. The TravelMatters calculator measures how much greenhouse gas you generate as a result of your daily transportation activities. By entering the monthly distances you traveled by mode of transportation—on foot or by bicycle, car, bus, train, plane, or boat—the calculator will do your greenhouse gas accounting for you. As a resource tool, the profile allows you to set goals for personal emissions reduction and follow your progress. By illuminating the links between transportation and global warming, the calculator will help you make better-informed decisions about how you travel. To calculate your footprint, click here.

The Green Values Calculator is the first step in achieving a full understanding of the role that green infrastructure can play in alternative infrastructure provisions. The tool allows developers, regulators, and property owners to assess the economic and hydrologic impact of green versus conventional stormwater management. Try it; go to

Similarly the Eating Green Calculator, created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, calculates how your food choices translate into pounds of fertilizer, manure, and pesticides and acres of grain and grass for animal feed. The calculator also shows you how the numbers change if you reduce your consumption of a specific meat or dairy product. Try it; go to


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