Research Outline

Amazon Order Exercise


To calculate the carbon footprint on an Amazon order. This will include an estimate of the carbon emission per item purchased with relevant links and an estimate for how much it would cost to offset or buy a carbon credit to cover the carbon emission generated from the order.

Early Findings

  • Since this is an iteration of the first carbon footprint calculations, as required, the research team reviewed the previous project to understand the methodology and to replicate it in the current iteration of the project.
  • With this, the research team created a similar spreadsheet where we'll tabulate the items in the Amazon order, their carbon emission per item, explanations to the carbon emission per item, the links to the resources used, and the sum of carbon emission. The spreadsheet can be accessed here.
  • Next, for each specific item, the research team attempted to provide their 'standard' CO2 emission per Kg. However, due to time constraints, these were provided for only chicken, pear, and yogurt. Note that the research team attempted to provide the 'standard' CO2 emission per Kg for the narrowed, specific kinds of each item but only used general values when or if such data are unavailable.
  • Previous research also provided that on average, a delivery is 181 grams of CO2. This has also been updated on the spreadsheet.
  • Though they cost less, "there is no fixed price on carbon, and the cost of an offset varies from project to project, depending on how expensive it is to run a given program," according to an article published by NY Times.
  • Another study shows that the average price of a carbon offset is about $3.30 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. Furthermore, most offset calculators focused on flights, cars, events, and others but not on groceries. Therefore, the cost to offset or buy a carbon credit to cover the carbon emission generated from an Amazon order will have to be estimated.