Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Why do you think you should even care about something like "sustainability"? We know that the concept of sustainability is used pretty often and that some of you may have tuned it out. But we think that sustainability, when you strip away all the rhetoric and politics, poses a pretty good question: Do we have an obligation to hand on to the next generation a world that will allow them to have at least as good a life as the one we have? You might think that "obligation" is a strong word. But, to our minds, we think that "obligation" captures the significance of the equal right that a person of the future has for a good and healthy life compared to a person of the present – a person like yourself! But, if "obligation" doesn't work for you, then why not think of sustainability in terms of the notion of "care". For instance, for the sake of the care of your future children and grandchildren, do you think you should act sustainably now?

Let's also bring this, so to speak, down to earth. So please consider the following:

  • You're probably an insanely busy student who doesn't think you have time to do this calculator, much less the time to change various habits in your life that may be emitting an undue amount of carbon dioxide.
  • We'd like you to consider: Even the smallest changes can make a difference.
  • These changes can be things you, so to speak, give up: For instance, giving up meet once a week yields a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Or these changes can be things that you do: Buy your own re-usable water bottle and drink from the tap!
  • Or you may already be dreaming big about a better world, moved by the beauty of the earth and dazzled by its complexity. If so, we say: Make those dreams a reality!
  • Overall, please remember this calculator was created by Santa Clara University students just like yourself - students who want our kids and grandkids to enjoy mother earth as much as we do!