A carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases that we put out into the atmosphere via transportation, electricity use, and other daily activities. Carbon Footprint Calculator is a Google Desktop Gadget that lets users easily tabulate their carbon footprints, as well as the number of trees that would need to be planted in order to offset it.
The program appears as an attractive rectangle within Google Desktop. The gadget's text invites users to calculate their carbon footprint by clicking on the word Start, and it then walks users through a series of questions about their energy consumption. Users are asked the size of their home, how much electricity, natural gas, heating oil, and propane they use in a year, and how much vehicular and air travel they do. The program then provides users with an estimate of the number of tons of carbon dioxide they produce each year, as well as the number of trees that would make up for it. Users are then invited to click a link to learn ways that they can offset their impact; this takes users to carbonfootprint.com, where they can buy carbon offsets or pay to have a tree planted in the United Kingdom or Kenya. In general, Carbon Footprint Calculator really just seems to be a way to drive people to the Web site and get them to partake of the company's services, but we do think that knowing and monitoring one's carbon footprint is a smart thing to do.
Carbon Footprint Calculator installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.