08. 28. 2007
Find out if you're a Carbon Hero
If Andreas Zachariah's Carbon Hero personal carbon calculator becomes popular, there'll be no excuse for anyone not to know their carbon footprint anymore. The keychain-sized device tracks a user's movements through a signal and uses the information to identify the person's likely transport modes and hence his or her carbon footprint. Although it is currently configured to work only in the UK, it's not limited to calculating just transportation on foot or in a car -- it also incorporates information for 1,000 airports worldwide.
Once Carbon Hero starts recording the data, it can be downloaded at any time to a cell phone or PC. Then you can calculate how much carbon you've used and the amount of credits that need to be purchased to offset the amount used. Talk about getting immediate feedback on exactly how carbon-friendly one's movements have been for the day ...
Carbon Hero is designed to run discreetly on one's person throughout the day, so it won't emit an embarrassing beep or anything even if you've chalked up an egregious amount of carbon usage. But as with all devices that track a user's movement, the question becomes: how safe is the data from prying eyes? It's certainly designed to be a private system, but that's never stopped anyone from trying to intercept information before.
Carbon Hero picked up a BSI Sustainability Design Award recently and is in the midst of commercial development.