Everyday, multiple times a day, you make an important choice that will determine your personal carbon footprint. It’s not necessarily the car you drive or even the fuel you burn (although these are important sources as well) — rather, it is the food you choose to consume. When it comes to your personal carbon footprint, your food choices matter – a lot.
In fact, studies estimate that 30% of your carbon footprint comes from your food choices, yet few people think about food in these terms. economz is a visualization project that hopes to bring awareness to this issue by helping people make sense of their carbon foodprint. By creating meals using popular staple food items, economz shows the associated carbon footprint using a gauge we’re more familiar with: the emissions of a traveling car. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about how food choices have a great impact on one’s carbon footprint, and to suggest greener meal alternatives.
Launched by Sam Slover at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, there are two ways to use economz:
The Physical Installation
Unveiled at the recent NYU ITP 2012 Winter Show, the physical installation invites participants to create a physical meal using mock food items (like the ones you see in a store front). As items are added to the physical plate, a digital visualization is updated on the screen accordingly. When the participant scans a symbolic hummer, the visualization runs and determines the carbon “footprint” of that meal as shown by a traveling car and its miles travelled. It’s a simple yet effective way to understand how a plate full of food contributes to one’s carbon footprint.
The Web Version
Questions or Comments
Interested in this project? Feel free to contact the project creator, Sam Slover, at sam (at) thinkingsam.com