A person’s environmental impact is not easy to determine. Personal behaviors, driving habits, heating/cooling preferences, recycling habits, and other factors determine how much the environment is affected by someone.

The Nature Conservatory and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can estimate environmental impact. Both feature online calculators that estimate environmental impact that you and, if applicable, your family has. Several variables are prominent in these (and other) tests. Residence type is important. For example, heating/cooling requirements of an apartment within a large building would be different than the same square footage in an isolated single-family house. Utilities are prominent since they use environmental sources directly (as in water use) and through consumption of fossil fuel, nuclear, or renewable sources for electricity.

Vehicles are another factor in determining environmental impact. Gas mileage is important, as is the car type/size. A bigger car takes more resources in its construction than a small car with the same MPG. Hybrids are an investment that pays off in reduced gas consumption over time.

Those who wish to reduce their environmental footprint have online help in doing so. The EPA has recommended suggestions for home, office, school, and vehicle modifications that help reduce environmental impact.