This extension automatically estimates the total CO2 emission resulting from driving on the route suggested by Google Maps. The estimated CO2 emission is inserted non-obtrusively next to the route’s time and distance
Language: English / German / French / Spanish / Hindi / Tamil
Runs offline: no
Last update: Chrome 06/10/2017 (v. 5.0.0) – Firefox 27/10/2016 (v. 4.0.1)
Website of the developer: Carbon Footprint
Google Maps Carbon Footprint is a Creative Commons (CC-By-NC-ND) extension for browsers that offers you a CO2 calculator to calculate the carbon footprint of a trip on different applications (Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.). It also works with some flights search engines or booking train tickets. Today, the extension is available for Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, although it does not work for one of the latest updates of this browser (Firefox 57, also known as Firefox Quantum). A version for Microsoft Edge is also in development. The version for Safari, on the other hand, has been rejected for the price of registration with Apple Developer ($99/year) and the low number of users.
The extension has a small menu with 3 options:
- Options, section to configure the options related to the vehicle you use for travel (fuel type and price, fuel consumption, emissions by model, etc.). If you are not sure about your car’s emissions, you can consult the database of Next Green Car website. And if you want to know how much your vehicle consumes every 100 km, you can check this web.
- Know more, section with accesses to another series of calculators to reduce your ecological footprint.
- Settings, section where you can view and enable/disable the pages and applications that support the calculation of CO2 emissions.
The result in the case of Google Maps, for example, is presented just below the estimated kilometers for the route. The interrogative symbol displays a text box showing the equivalent CO2 emissions of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also shows the trees that would be needed to offset emissions.
In the following images you can see the result of a car trip between Berlin and Hamburg and the estimated emissions for a Madrid-New York trip calculated via Tripadvisor.
Images: screenshots 07/12/2017. ©Carbon Footprint
Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, a phenomenon that directly affects global warming. Currently and according to measurements recorded by the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, the atmospheric CO2 level measured in parts per million (ppm) exceeds 400 ppm, with 410 ppm recorded in April 2017, which is the highest value in millions of years.
Bearing in mind that one of the most important sources of CO2 emissions is the burning of fossil fuels, such as that produced in conventional motor vehicles, extensions such as Google Maps Carbon Footprint become an interesting complement that teaches us how to reduce the carbon footprint in our displacements and contribute to the fight against global warming. It is an easy-to-use tool that not only serves individuals, but could also be used by companies within the framework of corporate social responsibility actions they develop.
In addition to its usefulness for calculating CO2 emissions based on a route and displaying the results in some of the most popular mapping applications, it is also noteworthy for allowing the calculation of carbon dioxide emissions in air travel, through some of the most popular flight search engines. However, after having tried some of them (Kayak, Expedia), it has been verified that the information on CO2 is not shown in all cases, being unknown if it is a problem related to the domain of the website (*. com vs country domains) or recent modifications undertaken in the consultation websites. On websites like Tripadvisor, on the other hand, it works without problems.