How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything


Published:

Mike Berners-Lee
How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything
Greystone Books, Berkeley, CA. 2011

"Paper or plastic?" Of course the correct answer is "neither." But on the (hopefully rare) occasions you find yourself without your personal shopping bag, what is the best response for the eco-conscious consumer? Organic food is always better, or is it?

In How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything, climate-change expert Berners-Lee unpacks the wide-spread confusion around the carbon footprint of food purchasing and nearly one hundred other items. His mission is to create a sense of "carbon awareness," so for every lifestyle choice you make you will have at least a reasonable guesstimate of the carbon impact of that decision and where the impact comes from.

Just what is a carbon footprint anyway? It breaks down like this; carbon is all the different global warming greenhouse gases (global warming meaning human-caused climate change) and footprint is the total impact something has. So the carbon imprint is the full impact an activity, lifestyle, company or country has on the planet.

What's the carbon impact of a cup of tea? A roll of toilet paper? A text message? The World Cup? Engaging and solidly researched, How Bad Are Bananas considers everything from birth to death (literally, the carbon impact of both having a child and being cremated are included). It makes three basic assumptions: climate change is a big deal; it's caused by humans; and we can do something about it. While Earth's seven billion people combined obviously make an enormous footprint, understanding where carbon impact comes from can help you cut your carbon portion by a decent amount.

You need to pick your battles though, and keep things in perspective. If you're stressing over choosing to dry your hands with an electric-hand dryer or to use a paper towel, but doing it from an airport restroom before you board a trans-Atlantic flight, you might just be distracting yourself from exactly how much carbon is at stake with your transportation choices.

Similarly, if you're making the great low-carbon activity choice of cycling one mile to work, but pumping that bike by fueling your body with food that has been flown by air from across the globe, you're carbon impact goes way up. (Carbon impact-wise, you'd be better off driving a Hummer!) Two people cycling a mile on cheeseburger power have about the same footprint as commuting together in an efficient car.

So it really is all about choices, and knowing the total impact of those choices. For food choices, consider things such as farming method, transportation, packaging, refrigeration and one of the worst offenders, food waste. So how bad are bananas? Actually, they're pretty good. The only bad banana is the one you let rot. (p.s. Paper or plastic? Pick plastic.)

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February 22, 2017

We’re in for a high stakes, high wire, high energy day. Mars’ early morning square to Pluto is the stuff of fierce and unyielding competition. Later in the day the Capricorn Moon conjuncts Pluto, setting off a fresh round of contentious energies…
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February 2017

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Scientists and impacted communities respond to attacks by anti-science forces and climate deniers in government. On Sunday, February 19, scientists, science advocates, community members, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Copley Square
560 Boylston St
Boston, MA  02116
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Sponsor: ClimateTruth.org and The Natural History Museum
Telephone: 917-202-5479
Contact Name: Beka Economopoulos
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Take your knowledge to the next level and become a Holistic Professional facilitating treatments with clients and/or teaching. Eight month program assists you in stepping into mastery utilizing...

Cost: $1199 (Early Bird by 09/01/16 is $1099)

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Hatha yoga classes are held on Sunday mornings from 10 - 11 am in the Function Room at the Village at Waterman Lake. These classes are mixed levels and open to the public. Please register at...

Cost: $12

Where:
Village at Waterman Lake
715 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI  02828
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Sponsor: The Yoga Workshop
Telephone: 401-261-1060
Contact Name: Barbara Fetta
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Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
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Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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We do not discuss technology. This is a non-technical meeting. Hello everybody, This is a group for anyone interested in finding healing solutions to chronic diseases using big data. We do...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cambridge Innovation Center
1 Broadway
Cambridge, MA  02142
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Sponsor: TeddycanHeal.Com
Telephone: 617-395-8864
Contact Name: Ray
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Are you interested in bringing your writing to the next level? ​Do you want to join a strong, respectful community of poets and creative nonfiction writers? In this intimate, rigorous...

Cost: $480

Where:
private home
Cedar St
Cambridge, MA  02140
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Sponsor: Nadia Colburn
Telephone: 617-785-6627
Contact Name: Nadia Colburn
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Start your week on a positive note! Each Monday, we will come together to discuss meditation techniques followed by the opportunity to put those techniques into practice with a goal of developing a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Telephone: 508-230-3680
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7 Chakras In 7 Weeks! Join Nancy Connelly for a 7 week course on balancing the chakras through the practice of yoga. Each week we will focus on a different chakra covering the 7 main chakras...

Cost: $15 drop in or $77 for all 7 weeks (due on or before the first class)

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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The ancient tradition of Reiki (“ray-key”) is used to channel universal life force energy through practitioners to those in need of healing for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual...

Cost: Donation

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Telephone: 508-230-3680
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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Ready to quit for good? Hypnosis can help make it happen! 

Cost: $59

Where:
Middletown Courtyard Marriott
9 Commerce Place
Middletown, RI  02840
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Sponsor: Newport Center for Hypnotherapy
Telephone: 401-835-1736
Contact Name: Suzi Nance
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Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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Enjoy a relaxing and fun evening designing your very own chakra bracelet. If you have no idea what a chakra bracelet is, come find out and enjoy honoring your energy center. Chakras help to balance...

Cost: $20

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
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Nancy's therapeutic and healing nature stems from her own personal journey through health struggles. Her style is open to everyone, no matter physical or mental challenges, or age....

Cost: $15 drop in or $12 with 10 class bundle

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
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Join Sara Dugas for a weekly class incorporating basic and restorative yoga poses into an energizing sequence. Open to every level of practitioner. Although voice-interpretation is not...

Cost: $98 for 7 week session. Pre-registration required.

Where:
SOHUM Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street
Suite 108B
Westborough, MA  01581
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Telephone: 508-329-3338
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Join us for a 6 week journey of shining a light on your limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of living a life you love! Group coaching, sugar detox, meditation and deep inner reflection....

Cost: $344

Where:
White Light Books
Cranston, RI


Sponsor: Sacred Rebel Coaching and Consulting
Telephone: 617-970-5677
Contact Name: Victoria Haffer
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We meet in Littleton on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings at 7pm to pursue health, emotional wellbeing, spiritual attunement, inner guidance, personal empowerment and conscious...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Church Unitarian
19 Foster Street
Littleton, MA  01460
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Sponsor: FCU Adult Enrichment
Telephone: 978-263-7092
Contact Name: Cerridwen
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Learn how to read the Tarot with Internationally known psychic the LoonWitch! This unique class is taught over 5 weeks to allow you to fully immerse yourself into the cards and gain an...

Cost: $120 - Payment options are available

Where:
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
1 Taunton Green
Basement
Taunton, MA  02780
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Sponsor: The LoonWitch
Telephone: 508-789-5141
Contact Name: Sha Blackburn
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Learn the most natural, comprehensive self-care and healing therapy available today. A one-day training facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher) “Good Morning Lou, I am...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Get to really know yourself from the inside out. Join us for a 6-session series focused on the energy body/chakras (pronounced, chah-krahz). We will spend each of the sessions exploring one of the...

Cost: $20

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

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February 25 - 26, 2017 Have you hit a “ceiling” in your life (or your healing practice)? Then this is what you've been waiting for! This two-day Level 1 Marconic...

Cost: $450

Where:
GravOxy Fitness
17 South Avenue
Natick, MA
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Sponsor: Your Healing Light
Telephone: 774-987-9449
Contact Name: Josh Brotherton
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

How To Heal Your Heels With IPT Are your feet in pain? That stabbing pain near the heel when you get up in the morning that lingers through the day? You stretch and work out but nothing seems to...

Cost: $35 pre-reg and $40 drop in

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough, MA
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Sponsor: Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
Telephone: 508-393-5581
Contact Name: Pat Lebau
Website »

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Come find out why doctors recommend tai chi as a perfect supplement to other lifestyle recommendations. This centuries-old practice works on balance, strength, and agility in a way that no other...

Cost: $15 drop in or $12 with 10 class bundle

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

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