Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Professional croissant on closed course. Do not attempt.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Energy input labelling

Mark products with the amount of energy used to produce them
  (+10, -1)(+10, -1)
(+10, -1)
  [vote for,

Being an environmentally aware consumer isn't easy. For most people it goes about as far as buying the occasional recycled product and maybe shopping at Body Shop or your local equivalent.

But if you want a measure of the environmental impact which a product's manufacture has, you have little information available. You might be able to guess that a recycled product uses less energy, or you might know about the toxic chemicals used in the production of many things (e.g. plastics, bleached fabrics and paper). But there is no standard measure to enable you to compare the green-ness of two products.

Therefore I would suggest products should carry on their label an estimate of the total energy used in their manufacture. This would be a figure in joules or kilojoules. This takes into account the amount of fuel used to produce the item, and the cost of transportation of raw materials, components, and the final product. it may also factor in the ease or difficulty of disposing of the product after use by estimating the energy needed to dispose of it.

You would then be able to go into a shop, look at two products on the shelf, and be able to say "this one is (probably) better for the environment." Admittedly there are weaknesses with this for the socially-concerned consumer, as it doesn't take into account the difference between hydro-electric electricity and diesel power, the pollution produced, or the condition of the workers. Alternative measures, such as amount of carbon dioxide produced in manufacture, or some combined general index/rating, are possible, but the energy used is an immediately significant figure.

pottedstu, Jun 17 2002


       Spud-U-Like emporia now state that they are a registered "carbon-neutral" business. They may make stuff requiring energy input, but they plant an appropriate number of trees to make up for it. It's not really an environmental effort that would stand up to particularly robust scrutiny, but it suits me.

p.s. where's that idea about rating your job for being morally sound?
sappho, Jun 17 2002

       Maybe also a logotype to denote less than average production energy use, though there are quite a few environmental symbols already
FarmerJohn, Jun 17 2002

       I voted for, but expect you to put information on the label indicating the energy consumed putting the energy information on the label.
phoenix, Jun 18 2002

       "and the cost of transportation of...the final product"   

       Depending on whether you're buying your cheese in Wisconsin or Hawaii, this number is going to be different.
ecorliss, Jun 19 2002

       //"Stop buying stuff!"//   

       The overwhelming majority of the stuff I buy keeps me warm, fed, clothed, and gets me where I need to go. So thanks for the advice but I think I'll keep doing it.
Voice, Sep 20 2019

       //Its either the economy or the planet.// There's always a way, just hope it is found in time.
wjt, Sep 22 2019

       Of course there is a way. It's called "going somewhere else".   

       The story of every successful* spacefaring civilization is punctuated by a succession of totally wrecked planets that were once habitable.   

       *The story of every unsuccessful civilization is punctuated by just one totally wrecked planet that was once habitable.
8th of 7, Sep 22 2019

       And of course there's another way giving spacefaring and a non wrecking expansion. Even with mistakes along the way.   

       Currently, have we really wrecked the place <quomma> or are we doing due diligence before the technologies that come on line that can truly wreck the place.   

       If we do wreck the Earth and humanity goes extinct, we will have to do a proper job of it to stop nature coming back from the cracks. There's a lot of time before Sol passes away.
wjt, Sep 22 2019

       // spacefaring and a non wrecking expansion //   

       That is, for want of a better term, a "dead end". Join the game now before someone else turns up and wrecks the place anyway.   

       // have to do a proper job of it //   

       Total planetary demolition. Cheaper than you think - ask the Vogons for a quote.
8th of 7, Sep 22 2019

       There's an echo in here
hippo, Sep 22 2019


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle