Calculating Environmental Impact

There are several initiatives under way that should help a consumer trying to limit their impact on the environment. The goal of these projects is to use technology to collect and calculate the social, health and environmental impact on many products currently available across their entire lifecycle. Perhaps even more important, they attempt to create a marketplace where it is necessary for all companies to make their manufacturing processes transparent so that we have the basis for accurate environmental evaluation of their products.

Earthster (http://www.earthster.org/details.php) is developing software that aims to give life cycle evaluation and publishing power to all companies, along with other ways to document and market their environmental and social performance.

The openLCA project (http://www.openlca.org) is working on a modular, free, open source software for life cycle analysis and sustainability assessments.

The project that is farthest along is Good Guide (http://www.goodguide.com). GoodGuide provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home. While the project is still in the early stages of development they do have a workable version available online that you can use today.

Spread the word about these tools. The more that people know and use them, the greater their impact will be.

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~ by severalfourmany on May 13, 2009.

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