The Carbon Footprint: New to You?
In case the idea of carbon footprint is really new to you, the WSJ defines it as “the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that get coughed into the air when the goods are made, shipped and stored, and then used by consumers.” The trouble is, “different companies are counting their products’ carbon footprints differently, making it all but impossible for shoppers to compare goods. And even if consumers come to understand the numbers, they might not like what they find out.”
Transportation—many products are shipped long distances in carbon-spewing trucks—is one culprit, but it’s not always the biggest contributor. The makers of Fat Tire beer, for example, found that open refrigerator cases in supermarkets create more carbon than trucking. This got us wondering just how widespread the concept is.
video and illustration via