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A bad reputation

June 9, 2010
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A bad reputation

Person carrying shopping in plastic bags
We’re all told to watch our carbon footprint these days, but some so-called “environmental nasties” are not as bad as you might think – at least from a carbon point of view, says Mike Berners-Lee.

With so much heated debate about the carbon footprint of things, it would be easy to feel guilty about everything or just to give up caring. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is seen as a key way to reduce climate change by a number of experts, but calculating those footprints can be hideously complicated.

However, with a few provisos, we can actually afford to chill out about certain carbon footprints, which aren’t as bad as many of us might think. The figures don’t need to be too precise before people can start making sensible, carbon-savvy choices. Even quite a basic understanding can lead to surprising conclusions.

1. Plastic bags really
2. Using electric hand
3. At a mere
4. New Zealand apples
5. Watching TV turns
6. A typical book
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