Dunnnnn dundun dunnn: The Carbon Hero! -or- Re-imagining Your Carbon Footprint in Real-Time

Talking about carbon credits, carbon footprints, or carbon taxes is a complex process. Most people don’t have an intuitive sense of what carbon dioxide is, what it looks like, how its measured, and exactly how we produce it. Furthermore, it is very easy to forget about processes larger than yourself or your immediate environment (energy comes from somewhere, right?).

The folks at Carbon Hero (with whom I have no affiliation) have developed an (dare I say) ingenious way re-imagining your carbon footprint – in real time. The device boils down to a hand held GPS device, with software containing various algorithms that can determine your mode of transportation. The information is then sent to a mobile phone and viewed by the user.

It was back in 2006, that Andreas Zachariah came up with the idea of a small and practical device to track personal CO2 emissions during travel. It determines the carbon footprint of travellers using different modes of transport by using satellite navigation data to measure the distance, identify the type of transportation and calculate the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere through travel[…]

[…]With Carbon Hero, to see the effect a journey is having on the environment you just need to look at your mobile phone. “The feedback loop is almost immediate,” says Zachariah.

It is also educational in that by giving an idea of the environmental impact of different types of transport – whether by train, plane, bike or by foot – it allows users to easily compare one kind of travel with another and calculate the environmental benefits daily, weekly and monthly.

Related Topics


Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com