Making CO2 Emissions Tangible

Do you know how much 350 grams of CO2 is? We can’t really imagine a solid image of how much CO2 that is, or how much it is affecting our environment when released into the atmosphere. Nitipak Samsen, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, acknowledged this intangibility and created the ATREEM (Automated Tree-Rental for Emission Encaging Machine) in order to make carbon emissions and carbon trading more understandable for everyone. He does this by creating a credit card operated tape measure that translates the amount of CO2 absorbed by the tree to that of the amount emitted by doing certain activities.

Turns out, 350 grams of CO2 is equivalent to a 10 minute ride on the tube. The tree shown above takes 2 days and 10 hours to offset that amount. How many times per week do you take a tube ride that is 10 minutes long? Maybe more like 45 minutes? Samsen wants to change the way the public thinks daily–how big is your carbon footprint in terms of the life of a tree?

While developing the ATREEM, Samsen also developed a Tree Tape for Kids. The tape acts as an arts and crafts project with a real learning experience behind it. Children, or anyone, can download the PDF for the file, follow the easy instructions, and voila! The tape compares the amount of CO2 absorbed in the tree (according to its type and width) to that of a more tangible amount –¬† from air travel and breathing to cheeseburgers and pints of lager.

We think these are two great ways to show children and adults the reality of our carbon footprint on a smaller, relatable scale. It’s also a very innovative combination of creative and scientific design that we commend for its modernity and simplicity.

(Sources: Dezeen and dotmancando)

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