08 May 2008

Confused by carbon footprint? Use common sense

Business Week carried a fascinating piece about how the consumer is soon going to be overwhelmed by carbon footprint product data and wondered how they would make head or tail of it all. The truth is that if carbon footprint data is overwhelming and confusing, the consumer can always rely on common sense (how about that for a novel idea). If consumers are worried about their overall carbon footprint then they should measure everything they do in terms of resource efficiency - this is a key start to lessening resource consumption, and that, after all, is what lies at the heart of the climate, food and energy crises we face at the moment.

So, be efficient, save some pennies and do your bit for the planet: consolidate two trips to town into one to reduce fuel consumption; reduce your hot water in the shower to lower gas or oil consumption; replace your incandescent lightbulbs with CFLs; pass on that bag of chips (see here for its carbon foot print, not to mention its health footprint) to better your wellbeing (which in turn lowers the likelihood of doctor and hospital visits, which lowers energy consumption and insurance premiums), etc. If carbon footprint data is confusing, use good old common sense!