Sustainability Web App Calculates Carbon Footprint Of Every Purchase

Published on April 28th, 2014 | by Derek Markham

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Web App Calculates Carbon Footprint Of Every Purchase

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Web App Calculates Carbon Footprint Of Every PurchaseDo you know what the climate impacts of your everyday actions are? Aside from calculating the carbon footprint of each activity, and adding them together and keeping tabs on them all, which is not only time-consuming, but doesn’t take into consideration how your behaviors compare with others, there isn’t a really comprehensive method of tracking personal climate impacts over time.

However, thanks to a partnership between Oroeco and Mint.com, there’s now a personal virtual climate dashboard that can put a carbon footprint on almost everything you do, from travel to diet to energy to housing and entertainment. The Oroeco web app, currently in beta, uses the spending information from your Mint account to assign a carbon value to your behavior, and can track it over time, compare it to other people in your social circle, and offer suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint.

“Oroeco uses environmental life-cycle assessment (LCA) data to calculate the climate impacts of products, services, and investments, with values converted to CO2e (see below). We use a combination of product-level “cradle to grave” LCA and economic input-output LCA modeling. Our LCA data is peer reviewed by leading academic and government institutions and comes primarily from UC Berkeley’s CoolClimate Network and the US Environmental Protection Agency.” – Oroeco

Oroeco also offers badges and real-life rewards (such as a Nest Thermostat) for making lifestyle changes that lower your carbon footprint, and users can opt to purchase personal carbon offsets through the app, which can be used to mitigate climate impacts.

The basic idea is that every dollar we spend impacts our climate. The problem is that we can’t see these impacts when we’re deciding what to buy, particularly now that global supply chains have shifted problems half a world away. We are building a tool that automatically connects your purchase data (via Mint.com) to scientific climate impact data so you can track the climate footprint of your groceries, gas, airfare, home energy, clothing, etc. We’re also integrating with Facebook, so you’ll be able to see how you compare with your friends, as well as earn points and prizes for improving.” – Ian Monroe, CEO of Oroeco

The service is free to use, and a forthcoming mobile app will make it easy to stay on top of your carbon footprint, right from your smartphone. Users will need a free Mint.com account (which can be very helpful on its own) to use the Oroeco service. Sign up to start tracking your carbon footprint here.



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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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