Nitrogen footprint tools are available for multiple countries
The N-Calculator tool is country-specific to account for energy use, food consumption patterns, and food production practices specific to a particular country. The N-Calculator is currently available online for the United States, Brazil, Portugal, Denmark, and Ukraine. Versions are coming soon for other countries, including Japan and the Netherlands.
The figure below from the multi-country N-Calculator shows a comparison of all the nitrogen footprint average results currently available. The footprints are then broken up into consumption sectors: food consumption, food production, housing, transport, and goods & services.
In all countries, the largest losses of nitrogen to the environment occur in the food sector, and in particular, food production. For the food consumption footprint, the difference across countries is not due to consumption rates--it is due to the advanced sewage treatment found throughout most of Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. The differences in food production footprints are largely driven by food choice. For example, the Netherlands food production N footprint is smaller than that of the US due to lower consumption of meat; more of the protein consumed in the Netherlands is from fish and dairy. These country comparisons illustrate how lifestyle choices can minimize your N footprint.
The energy sector is typically the smallest part of an individual's nitrogen footprint. However, its contribution varies by country; in the United States, the energy footprint is proportionally larger. The US energy N footprint is driven by both higher rates of consumption (e.g., of gasoline) and higher emission factors.
Who is using the N-Calculator?
Individual consumers, teachers, students, and more all over the globe! Most of our users are based in the countries we have available in the N-Calculator now: The US, Australia, Denmark, Brazil, Portugal, and Ukraine. However if your country is not yet available, you can still estimate your footprint! Just select the country most similar to your own. We will soon be adding many more countries, including Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany.
Interested in using the N-Calculator in a classroom?
Contact Allison.Leach @ unh.edu for example classroom exercises!