PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 

Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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The New "Carbs": Tool Tracks Your Carbon Footprint

Commuting by bike or foot will reduce your carbon footprint. (td2/morguefile)
Commuting by bike or foot will reduce your carbon footprint. (td2/morguefile)
August 11, 2017

NEW YORK – Monitoring your impact on the environment is now just a few clicks away, thanks to a website that can measure and share ways to reduce or offset your carbon footprint.

Conservation International's Carbon Calculator provides an overview of how people's habits affect the environment, taking into account everything from commuting style to diet to the number of airline trips taken each year. It then offers tips for reducing emissions, such as taking the bus or meatless Mondays.

But Shyla Raghav, climate change lead at Conservation International, notes it may not be possible for someone to completely neutralize their footprint.

"We wanted to offer everyone the possibility and the option to offset their emissions, which is essentially purchasing carbon credits from projects that have been able to demonstrate a reduction in emissions," she explains.

The average American's annual footprint is 21 tons of carbon. Conservation International is featuring a project in Kenya, where credits not only support a forest that absorbs carbon dioxide but also helps conserve an area with the highest density of elephants in the world. There also are projects in Peru and Madagascar.

The calculator can be found at

In light of setbacks to the fight against climate change, such as President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accords, Raghav says climate change has become a personal issue for more people.

"Climate change is really a global, collective problem that each of us really needs to internalize and respond to in our own way," she says.

Raghav notes that citizens also have the power of their vote and can elect officials who support a shift toward a renewable-energy power grid, for instance. This week, a government report directly linking climate change to human activity was leaked to the media, as scientists feared the Trump administration might suppress the findings.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - NY