Foodprint Calculator


January 29, 2010 by missmegany

Calculate Your (Food) Carbon Footprint

A carbon (equivalent) footprint is how much greenhouse gases you pump into the atmosphere. This includes the energy you use at home, the food you eat, the goods you buy, and even the government services that happen on your behalf (that’s a LOT of schools to heat and roads to fix!) This one just focuses on food.

Typical British diet (38% meat and dairy) Start with 2,000
A meat-heavy diet (50%)   Start with 2,250
A light meat diet (a little meat once a day or less) Start with 1,750
A vegetarian diet (replacing meat with more dairy) Start with 1,500
A vegan diet (no animal products)           Start with 1,000

If you never eat beef or lamb Deduct 200
(to avoid methane)

If nearly all of your food is processed
(ready meals, sauces, etc.)and/or imported         Add 200
If very little is processed
and/or imported              Deduct 400
If you buy air-freight fish, fruit or veg                  Add another 40
once a month or more (plane emissions)

(To avoid methane)
If you eat all leftovers and don’t waste food         Deduct 10%
If you compost all veg peelings, etc                    Deduct 200

Eating Out
(on average, 25% of meals in the UK are eaten away from home)
If you hardly ever eat in restaurants or canteens   Deduct 100
If half your meals are in restaurants or canteens    Add 100
If half your meals are takeaways Add 50

(To avoid nitrogen fertilizer related emissions)
If you eat only organic food                   Halve your final score
(adjust as necess. eg if you eat 50% organic, take ¼ off your score)
If you eat meat that isn’t organic, but IS free range Deduct 100

Total __________ kg of CO2 equivalent.
(1000 kg equals 1 tonne)

(apologies for the dreadful formatting. I probably should have done this as a table, but oh well. Hopefully it’s still clear what numbers go with what.)


2 thoughts on “Foodprint Calculator

  1. missmegany says:

    My food footprint is (apparently) 0.32 Tonnes, which seems extraordinarily low and is probably inaccurate. (I think everything after the first figures should probably be a percentage of the total rather than a figure to deduct)

    I eat a vegetarian diet (well, 99% of the time–I eat meat probably once every other month), so I started with 1500kg.
    Take out 400 because most of our food is from scratch.
    We compost most of our food, so I took 200 away.
    We’re pretty good about not wasting food, but not amazing, so I only deducted 5% instead of 10%.
    We eat about 75% organic (well, that’s my guess), so I had to work out how to divide it by 3/8.

    How to improve? If I start eating more vegan meals, I think my total according to this calculator will be negative! We could also be better about not letting food go off (better portion sizes? less ambitious purchases at the farmers’ market?) and look into composting cooked food. I’d also like a better idea of how much of what we eat is organic.

  2. Robin says:

    1450kg is mine.

    I could do better by eating NO meat (I already eat very little). And not eating processed foods. On Wednesday when I have my support group, I have been eating microwave meals cause they’re quick. But I SHOULD just make my nice vegetarian soup, freeze portions, and just eat that every Wednesday.

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Less and Less and More is all about enjoying more, all whilst worrying about less. Whether enjoying better health because you eat less junk, having more time for friends and family because you spend less time on acquiring, or lots of other big and little things that we want more of, I look at examples of people doing more.


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