Household Flux Calculator

We developed a computational tool called the Household Flux Calculator (HFC) to convert all of the information we gathered (from the returned surveys, energy records, parcel data, and landscape assessment) into annual fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus using a series of algorithms and conversions based on available literature. The HFC is organized into seven main components (motor vehicle and air travel, household energy consumption, human diet, pet diet, landscaping, and paper and plastic consumption) and two sub-components (food waste and wastewater). Fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus through each one of these components can be analyzed independently. Every component of the HFC receives inputs of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in different forms (e.g., food for human and pet nutrition, fuel for transportation) that then leave the household as outputs (e.g., CO2 from human and pet respiration; CO2 and NOx from fuel combustion).

Cited References

Milesi, C., C.D. Elvidge, J.B. Dietz, B.T. Tuttle, R.N. Ramkrishna, and S.W.W. Running. 2005. Mapping and modeling the biogeochemical cycling of turf grasses in the United States. Journal of Environmental Management 36:426-438.

Nelson, K., S. Grayzeck, J. King, S. Hobbie, L. Baker, and J. McFadden. 2008. Our household choices in urban living survey, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Household Survey. (pdf)

Nowak, D.J., D.E. Crane, J.C. Steven, R.E. Hoehn, J.T. Walton, and J. Bond. 2008. A ground-based method of assessing urban forest structure and ecosystem services. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 34:347-358.

Household Flux Diagram