Climate Hero and Earth Hero Carbon Calculators

Happy New Year and best of wishes, especially for good health, to you all, for 2022.

It is that time of year of annual reckoning for Lucy and Catherine with our carbon emissions. We have been discussing the impact our blog has had on us personally and we agree that it is hard to make lasting changes in one’s lifestyle so as to reduce our carbon footprint. It is hard to live more simply, it is hard to give things up, and we humans are such creatures of habit, so it is hard to change. WE are the ones blogging about protecting life on Mother Earth with our Friends4trees4life blog, so if it is hard for us to be gentler on Mother Earth, it is also likely hard for each and every one!!!! Reflecting on past goals set, it feels like we go two steps forward and one step back. For example, Lucy planned to increase insulation in the house, and only made minimal changes this year in this regard. Catherine planned to reduce heat loss/energy use by installing new windows in the house and is still waiting, months later, for the order to be fulfilled, now most likely into 2022. There are factors that limit one’s success, like having others in the household on board, the type of energy sources available in one’s province, the type of city one lives in, unpredictable supply chain challenges beyond our control, and one’s willingness/capacity to alter a privileged lifestyle, or even costs. Undoubtedly continuing to pay attention to one’s daily habits is an important first step in finding even small ways to improve and be more mindful about the impact of our choices. We believe we are all really good with some of our earthly habits, and not so good with others. That’s human nature. And, as we stated last year, no one can do everything, but every one can do something. Clean air, fewer storms, reduced waste, more gratitude, and a simpler less-stressed lifestyle are some of the benefits we, our children and their children will realize from all our collective efforts.


Lucy’s Climate Hero Calculation

One way to plan for reducing personal carbon emissions is to use one of the many carbon calculators that are easy to find online. For this New Year 2022 Lucy tried a different carbon calculator that she really liked, and it is called Climate Hero ( ). It was very thorough without requiring the annoying task of digging up of energy statements, and it offered lots of suggestions for improvement including some that she had never considered before. The Carbon Hero calculator indicates how much each change can reduce one’s carbon footprint. This is the third New Years that Lucy is calculating her carbon footprint, and she can see her score improving. It appears that by selling a second property, removing beef from the diet, buying only things that are needed, putting in only LED lights, hanging clothes to dry half the time, driving less, growing a vegetable garden, putting in water efficient toilets, giving home made, consumable or vintage gifts, among other things, that she has been able to make a difference in her carbon emissions for sure. It seems every little bit counts towards lowering one’s footprint by 0.1 or 0.2 tons of carbon/year.

Lucy’s carbon footprint was about 11.5 two years ago, and now, most recently with the addition of an electric vehicle, her carbon footprint is at 8.0 tons of carbon/year. This has moved Lucy out of the “Climate Villain” category into the “Climate Consumer” category, but there is still a ways to go towards becoming a “Climate Friend” or a “Climate Hero”. It is progress. Lucy’s aim was to reduce her footprint about 8% a year and she has surpassed that for sure, as she is about a year ahead of schedule. That is good as it is getting harder all the time to find ways to make a difference, and of course the easiest things have been done first.

This coming year Lucy set these goals:

  • Reduce energy loss by sealing windows in the house in winter
  • Greatly reduce dairy consumption
  • Get energy efficient kitchen appliances (done)
  • purchase an electric vehicle (done)
Meet Evi – Lucy’s new Electric Vehicle

The Carbon Hero calculator also made many suggestions (promises) for Lucy and here are the ones she chose, that she saw as doable this year:

Catherine’s Climate Hero Calculation

Inspired by Lucy, her personal “Carbon Hero,” Catherine followed suit, and calculated her carbon footprint also using Carbon Hero. She has a carbon footprint before promises of 6.7 tons CO2 per year, joining Lucy in the “Climate Consumer” category.

The suggestions (promises) that Catherine is adopting, subject to research and family agreement about replacing one of our aging cars with an e-vehicle/hybrid, in order to reduce her carbon footprint to 4.8 tons CO2 per year are:

  • Change one medium-haul flight to a car/train/bus/ferry ride (-0.4 tons)
  • Replace your car with a green vehicle (-0.6 tons)
  • Eat more vegetarian food (-0.2 tons)
  • Fight food waste (-0.2 tons)
  • Shop less (-0.3 tons)
  • Adopt circular shopping habits (-0.2 tons).

The calculator also reports that carbon offsets of $11 per month would be sufficient to reduce her carbon footprint of 4.8 tons CO2 per year to zero. Achieving a zero carbon footprint, even for one year, is something that would be very meaningful and further motivating for Catherine. She is committing to purchasing carbon offsets via donations totalling at least $132 in 2022 ($11 x 12 months) to Canadian tree planting groups such as Tree Canada and One Tree Planted.


If you prefer to have an APP on your phone to track your emissions, there are several to choose from. Lucy downloaded for free EARTH HERO. Like many calculators it allows you to track your emissions over time, set goals, suggests reading materials, and this one gives you Earth Points! Who doesn’t want Earth Points? I somehow find this one has almost too much detail for me, and I find I prefer to use my computer rather than my phone to track my progress, but I imagine many people would prefer this app. Below is a link to a list of best phone apps for tracking your climate footprint.

Offsetting Carbon Footprint

The Climate Hero calculator offers a means for you to contribute money to offset your carbon footprint. The projects it supports are found all around the world, not Canada. Lucy and Catherine are not choosing this option, but rather donate money towards planting trees through, for example, One Tree Planted or Tree Canada to offset their carbon from air travel.

Do You Strive to Be a Climate Friend or a Climate Hero?

We encourage you to consider looking into your carbon footprint, and consider making one or more improvements. Maybe you might want to follow Lucy in choosing to be one of the pioneers in the Electric Vehicle world. Let’s make this world more habitable together.

Finding Simple Pleasures and Joy in Nature

This holiday season we find ourselves once again needing and finding our joy in the comfort, healing powers and simple delights of, and in, nature.

It continues to be a time for caution and tempered, modest celebration and limited social engagement with friends and family for a second year, sadly.

We are working hard (and creatively) to counter weariness with the continued (never ending?) pandemic and its impact on daily living. At the same time, we are mindful that no matter how difficult and protracted it all seems, we are ever so grateful for the privilege of being able to ‘shelter in place’ among fellow citizens in this wonderful Canada we both are proud to call home.

Our goal for today’s blog is to offer a bit of cheer and serenity, if possible, in hopes of helping to lift spirits in these unsettled times.

Seeing a light dusting of new fallen snow on the trees and rooftops outside, and being greeted with the fresh evergreen scent of the indoor Christmas tree offer us both a fresh, happy start to a new day of possibilities, with a reminder of the wonders and simple pleasures that beckon from nature, if only we take a moment’s pause and lift our gaze up from our screens and racing thoughts, to notice.

We share a few local ideas and moments of joy we have experienced as we adapt how we celebrate this holiday season in Edmonton and in Toronto, in the hopes it may fuel our Readers’ creative and festive muse to spread and share a bit of joy and delight with others…. If all else fails, we share opportunities to wonder and marvel at nature from the treasure trove of Lucia’s magical photo collection.  Please enjoy!

Catherine’s start to the week began with a delightful new tradition and opportunity to share in the special community spirit that makes her local neighbourhood such a treasure. At the invitation of her friend and consummate ambassador of community spirit building, Nora, she joined the outdoor “Holly Jolly Time” in neighbouring ‘Triangle Park’ for a tree trimming, festive cheer sharing, neighbourly event to mix and mingle safely, while also serving as a chance to donate to the local annual toy drive for children in need in nearby communities. The twist in this year’s second annual Holly Jolly Time donations event, aided by technology, is the opportunity to support the toy drive while at the same time supporting participating local retailers. Shopping local via the specially created toy drive website automatically generates donations to the toy drive, donations which then generously are being matched by participating local car dealerships. Win-win-win for all!

Lucia has started volunteering this year with her local bird rescue organization –The Beaverhill Bird Sanctuary – a special opportunity and joy to be outside in nature regularly, meeting new people and working together for a great cause that is personally meaningful to her as an avid birder.  Here she is, learning the ropes while banding a Dark Eyed Junco.

Catherine is ‘spicing things up’ every day this holiday month– literally – enjoying supporting local retailer The Spice Trader while at the same time enjoying together with Tony a daily ‘surprise box’ of new aromas, flavours and inspiring recipe ideas via The Spice Trader Advent calendar ( ). So far, we have enjoyed being transported to France via creating a delicious mushroom stew medley seasoned with Herbs de Provence and can’t wait to “travel” to new exotic worlds when next we learn to cook for the first time with Iranian Loomi (black limes), sweet Aleppo pepper chili, South East Asian Kala Namak (Bir Noon or rock salt), EVOO and more. Yum!

These are just a few of the new ways and added reasons to celebrate the gift of our “one wild and precious life” (in the words of poet Mary Oliver) that we are exploring. (from Poem 133: The Summer Day. View at: and/or hear Mary Oliver herself reading the poem in this Youtube video – )

We would love to learn about and be inspired by your new holiday adventures in and with nature!

Butchart Gardens Christmas Lights near Victoria