The government today launched an online service that allows individuals to calculate the amount of carbon emissions they produce.

The CO2 Calculator asks numerous questions about personal energy use, Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) said today.

Using the calculator entails providing some basic data. This information includes the type of home they live in, how they heat it, the types of appliances and gadgets they own and how they use them, as well as the cars and/or motorcycles they own; and how many flights they take per year.

Users don't need to submit their fuel bills to use the calculator, but if they chose to provide this information, their carbon footprint calculation is more accurate, according to the ministry.

The calculator offers recommendations on reducing and avoiding energy waste.

In a videocast on YouTube, Environment Secretary David Miliband said individual actions related to heating, electrical appliances and transportation account for 50 percent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, which are a cause of global warming.