Environmental Footprint Calculators:
Tools for auditing your school and monitoring progress
Green school initiatives are most successful when everyone is engaged, including students, teachers, and staff. How do you inspire and engage students and the school community to get involved and stay involved?
Try the ecological footprint tools listed below along with our resources on school audits, to engage your school in greening projects, evaluate your progress, and celebrate your achievements so you can keep progressing along the 7 Steps to a Green School.
One green school that used a footprint tool with terrific results is Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, CA. They engaged students in an analysis of how to reduce the environmental impact of the paper products they purchase annually.
By using the Paper Calculator below, they were able to quantify the environmental impact of the paper products they normally purchased, and determine how much energy and how many trees would be saved by switching to paper products with a higher recycled content. They also did a cost-benefit analysis to develop a business case for switching to the recycled paper.
These online tools for students deliver just the type of hands-on, experiential learning – often incorporated into environmental education, science, social studies, or global issues curricula – that is shown to:
- Improve student achievement
- Increase critical-thinking skills
- Nurture children’s natural affinity to “do good” and
- Ultimately result in adults who are more engaged in their communities!
General Environmental Footprint Calculators
Ecological Footprint Quiz
Ever wondered how much “nature” your lifestyle requires? You're about to find out. The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the area of land and ocean required to support your consumption of food, goods, services, housing, and energy and assimilate your wastes.
Adventures with Bobbie Bigfoot
This cute online quiz is good for younger students who are just beginning to learn about the concept of an ecological footprint.
Zero Footprint Kids Calculator
This online tool helps kids measure the environmental impact of what they eat, how they get to school, products they use, and what they throw away.
School Carbon and Ecological Footprint Calculator
Developed in the UK, this educational online introduction to the environmental impact of consumption is followed by an interactive Excel Eco Calculator made especially for kids assessing their school’s impact.
Carbon and Energy Calculators
The Cool School Challenge Classroom Carbon Calculator
The Cool School Challenge engages students and teachers in practical strategies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions schoolwide, and provides this comprehensive calculator for classrooms along with a Classroom Toolkit with step-by-step instructions.
EPA Calculator for Schools
This fun online tool helps students understand how taking action at home can help them reduce the impacts of climate change.
The SchoolNeutral Carbon Calculator
This downloadable Excel spreadsheet will help you measure your school’s emissions from electricity and gas consumption, transportation, and more.
Green Schools Climate Change Carbon Calculator
Get instructions for students on how to gather and analyze the data. Tool developed by the Repak recycling company in Ireland.
Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
Do you ever wonder what reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1 million metric tons means in everyday terms? The greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator translates abstract measurements into concrete terms you can understand, such as "equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of 183,000 cars annually."
Energy Kids, from the U.S. Energy Information Administration
These simple online calculators for energy used in the United States teach kids about greenhouse gas emissions from coal, electricity, natural gas, and crude oil (including gasoline and heating oil), as well as explaining scientific notation.
The Paper Calculator, by Environmental Defense Fund
By using less paper, increasing recycled content, and making other improvements, you can save wood, water and energy, and cut pollution and solid waste. The Paper Calculator shows the environmental impacts of different papers across their full lifecycle.
Environmental Benefits Calculator
Helps determine the GHG and energy benefits of current waste disposal practices. Users enter data on the amounts of various wastes sent to the landfill, recycled, and incinerated. The tool calculates how that waste disposal scenario compares with one in which all waste is landfilled. The tool reports the benefits in terms of GHGs and other air emissions, energy use, quantity of oil and gas consumed, waterborne wastes, and other metrics.
WAste Reduction Model (WARM)
EPA created the WAste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. WARM is available both as a Web-based calculator and as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Green Purchasing Calculators
The Responsible Purchasing Network Calculators
Use these cost and benefit calculators to quantify the results of responsible purchasing. Then learn more about responsible purchasing with our Buying Guide.
Water Footprint Calculators
USGS Drip Calculator
This calculator helps estimate how many gallons per day and per year are wasted from a leaky faucet. A simple concept, but it all adds up! Data you need include how many drips per minute and how many leaky faucets.
Water Footprint Calculator for Kids
Nearly 95 percent of your water footprint is hidden in the food you eat, energy you use, products you buy, and services you rely on, in addition to the water you drink, bathe, and flush with. Estimate how much water you use with this.
You can use this quick or extended calculator to look at your personal water footprint, or at the global, national, or corporate water footprints of others.