The Carbon Footprint: New to You?

The Carbon Footprint: New to You?

Jonathan B.
Oct 6, 2008
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the concept of the carbon footprint is starting to catch on, and manufacturers of cars, clothing, and food are crunching the numbers. We're wondering how new the concept of a carbon footprint is to Re-nest readers. Survey and highlights from the article after the jump.

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.

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