Landscape Carbon Calculation
+1 805-541-1003


100% - 5 votes

Landscape Carbon Calculation

Oct 01, 2021
Video Length:  56:37
Presented By:  Rick Taylor

Join Rick Taylor of Elder Creek Landscapes for an introduction to the Carbon Calculator, an important tool in the effort to combat climate change. After a brief discussion of the basic scientific premise behind climate change, Rick will present the main leverage points available for its reversal and outline immediate necessary solutions to its ancillary effects on our ecosystems and lives. He’ll then provide a live tutorial of the calculator, allowing you to experience its user interface firsthand. As always, feedback and questions will be encouraged throughout the conversation.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)


  • Intro/TOC
  • Why the Landscape Professions Have Such an Important Role in the Effort to Combat Climate Change
  • Who the Carbon Calculator was Built For
  • Carbon Leverage Points and Why They've Been Invisible to Us Thus Far
  • Tutorial on the Carbon Calculator
  • Case Study
  • Upgrades Coming in 2022

0:00 – 4:00: Intro/TOC

4:01 – 11:17: Why the Landscape Professions Have Such an Important Role in the Effort to Combat Climate Change

The 3 fulcrums in the landscape professions for addressing climate change and current ecological, agricultural, and humanitarian issues whose resolution requires measurement tools:

  • Carbon
  • Water
  • Insect Habitat


For most of human existence, we've been at about 350 parts per million for carbon. Our average in June 2021 was 418.94. (7:16)


Positive feedback loops (example: polar sea ice melting and its further effects on climate) (7:37)


Why limiting reductions is not enough (8:16)


Atmospheric CO2 rates have risen beyond safe levels. The most efficient way to draw it back down is through the photosynthetic, liquid carbon cycle. (8:43)


How the Carbon Calculator works, and the sequestration equilibrium timeline (9:54)

11:18 – 12:37: Who the Carbon Calculator was Built For

  • Landscape designers and landscape architects
  • Leading-edge contractors
  • Municipalities

12:38 – 15:55: Carbon Leverage Points and Why They've Been Invisible to Us Thus Far

The leverage points are at the convergence of eco-literacy, project constraints, and design. (12:38)

Question: Will this tool be available globally? (15:06)

Answer: Yes. Although it was developed from an American perspective, the development took different languages and metrics into account.

15:56 – 44:26: Tutorial on the Carbon Calculator

Creating a project (15:56)


The 3 main screens in the Carbon Calculator:

  • Inputs (16:30)
  • Summary (17:33)
  • Reports (17:40)


Overview of the Inputs screen (17:50)


Carbon emission chart (hardscaping generally takes up the largest piece of the pie) (22:22)


Sequestration chart (22:36)


Why mulches and composts are treated like a credit (23:49)


Question: Are carbon pounds calculated by the removal of plant material, or how the item was made? (25:27)

Answer: How the item was made. For example, items that require an industrial blast furnace or have petroleum as a base material will have a high carbon footprint.


Discussion of sources for this material (26:57)


Transportation considerations (29:11)


Equipment use (30:49)


Summary screen overview (31:49)

In general, the more grounds a site has, and the less hardscape, the better timeline that site will have for making a positive impact.


Reports screen overview (34:40)

The new Carbon Calculator version coming in January 2022 will have different graphics, but the calculator will work in the same way. It will also be available on mobile.


Discussion of plant sequestration and how it's calculated (35:31)


Discussion of square foot estimates of woody shrub plantings and trees (38:18)


Question: Is it possible to add custom content to the Carbon Calculator? (41:34)

Answer: Currently, no.


Question: If a user were interested in adding a material or other item that is not currently available, could you work with them on how it can be represented in the Carbon Calculator? (43:13)

Answer: Absolutely. In fact, it's encouraged.

44:27 – 50:16: Case Study

Case study: Cavanaugh Center in Petaluma, CA

50:17 – end: Upgrades Coming in 2022

For further information, see the Landscape Carbon Calculator website.


Presenter contact information:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @LandscapeCarbonCalculator

Log in to