Break-Even Ecological Footprint (BEEF) Calculator
The Break Even Ecological Footprint (BEEF), measured in units of time (e.g. months), indicates how long a Western humanitarian engineer or sustainable community development professional needs to live at a local, developing community Ecological Footprint level in order to offset the CO2 emitted by their air travel to and from the field.
In other words, the BEEF is the minimum amount of time one would have to remain in-country/community in order to begin to accrue a net sustainability benefit. Any trip shorter than the BEEF would be futile from a sustainability perspective as the environmental costs of getting there would outweigh the sustainability benefits of living at a lower Ecological Footprint level relative to the US (or other affluent home country) lifestyle.
More information about the BEEF, including calculation methodology, can be found here.
Use the calculator below to evaluate your trip. Select your home and destination cities (or nearest cities of at least 500,000) from the dropdown menus. Then use the slider to gauge the extent to which your lifestyle in-country approximates that of the average local community member.
|without radiative forcing *||with radiative forcing *|
|flight CO2 emissions||3.10 tonnes||8.38 tonnes|
|flight Ecological Footprint||1.0 global hectares||2.7 global hectares|
|BEEF||4.2 months||11.3 months|
City coordinates provided by TravelGIS.com
Ecological Footprint data (2010 National Footprint Accounts) provided by Global Footprint Network
CO2 per flight-mile provided by Carbonfund.org
BEEF Calculator built by Marc Hassan, July 2013