Winter is coming—and not in that Game of Thrones sense. Many people are starting to button up across the US, but while you might have to turn the heater up too, there’s reason to stop and think before blasting the warm air. Like so many of the best aspects of modern living, heaters aren’t necessarily great for the environment.
In fact, your heating habit may be bloating your carbon footprint dramatically.
With the Trump administration ditching the Paris Climate Agreement, of course, there may be no federal mandate for individuals and organizations to shrink their carbon footprint.

But many people—for reasons ranging from the financial to the environmental—still want to find out how to shrink their impact on the Earth. While it’s hard, there is a way.
Carbon footprints are essentially a convenient way for scientists and environmental advocates to provide you with a number—typically in tons—of the C02 emissions you produce each year. Calculated based on a number of factors including where you live, what you eat, and how you get around, the size of each person’s C02 footprint varies widely.

Things are especially different between city slickers and suburbanites, as urban living lowers carbon emissions by 20 percent.
Still, the average American clocks in at 16.4 metric tons, or some 36,00 pounds, of carbon dioxide and its greenhouse gas equivalents each year, according to the World Bank.

That made for a shared national footprint of about 5,300 million metric tons in 2015, which continues to contribute to the acceleration of global climate change.
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