Climate Connections

The Carbon-Counting Challenge

The Carbon-Counting Challenge. .

Does your family have what it takes to meet the carbon-counting challenge? Lindsay Mangum, NPR


Meet the Sheppards: Scott, Claudia and their two daughters, 6-year-old Anja and 8-year-old Nadia. They live in Chapel Hill, N.C., where Scott is a research scientist and Claudia is a veterinarian. He drives to work; she bikes. Nadia and Anja attend a local school. They use energy-saving light bulbs.

They are trying to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, but think they can do better. How about you?

As part of NPR's yearlong exploration of climate change, All Things Considered is inviting families to take the Carbon-Counting Challenge -- a carbon-reducing diet of sorts. We are looking for people who want to reduce their impact on the environment by monitoring their greenhouse-gas emissions, which include everything from heating up your morning coffee to commuting home from work.

On average, a single, two-person household emits more than 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Sheppards total yearly output of carbon is an impressive 30,879 pounds.

How do you measure up? Use the EPA's personal calculator to total up your household's greenhouse gas emissions and submit a profile below, and you could be featured alongside the Sheppards on

Tell us about your family:
What have you already done to reduce your greenhouse-gas emissions?
What further steps could you take?
Number of people in your household, their names and pronunciation:
Pounds of carbon dioxide your household emits each year, according to the EPA calculator:
E-mail Address:
Phone Number:
Local NPR Station:
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