Know your cooking carbon footprint with our carbon calculator

Carbon is acknowledged as one of the main contributory factors to global warming, and it is reasonable that we should all take responsibility for minimising the amount of carbon that we produce.  But how do we know how much we are producing, and even if we do know, what will you do with this information?  I want to focus on the part that cooking takes in this vital environmental problem that faces us so you can make informed decisions about the cooking methods and appliances you use in the kitchen.  Use the free carbon footprint calculator below to help you calculate how much carbon you produce when cooking you can use the calculator below, then compare it against other activities to give you some perspective on the impact that any changes you make can have.  Remember that any changes, however small, if they are adopted by enough people who care for the environment can make a difference.

Carbon Footprint Calculator

From the adjacent list of cooker power ratings, select which cooking methods you use on a regular basis to calculate the carbon they produce in a year.  Enter the average figures for pre-heat time, cook time, cooking temperature and how many times you would use this method in a week. The amount of carbon is calculated automatically in Box 7.

Cooker Power Ratings

The values below are typical for appliances so you can use them in Box 1 in the carbon footprint calculator.  Alternatively, if you know the precise power ratings for your cooking appliance you can enter it instead.  Power ratings may be found in your user manual, on appliance data plates, or if you do an on-line search for the technical specification of your appliance.

Hob ring – small

Hob ring – large

Oven grill











What do I do with this information?

In order to give some perspective on how much carbon you are producing you need to have some figures to compare against.  The Committee on Climate Change has produced some figures which shows that the average homes carbon footprint has reduced from 12.8 tonnes of CO2 in 1990, to 8.1 tonnes in 2014, and projects a figure of 4.5 tonnes in 2030, a reduction of 44%.  So if around 8.1 tonnes is the current average, you need to compare your calculation above against this figure.  Just say the total of all the calculations above (for hob, oven, grill, and microwave) totals 400Kg, this would work out at just under 5% of your total carbon production.  The target for 2030 represents a 44% reduction on 2014 figures and clearly there will be bigger gains to be made in the high energy consumption areas like heating or transport, but smaller marginal gains in areas like cooking can make a useful contribution, particularly if they are adopted by most people.  The 400Kg figure today will need to be reduced to 224Kg – use this calculator to help you choose the best cooking methods to achieve this.

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