Visualize your Carbon Footprint
Designed by Mansi Agarwal
About the project.
Carbon Card is a product concept of a digital card in one’s mobile wallet that automates its design to represent the carbon footprint of one’s food purchases.
Digital wallets and forms of transactions are becoming increasingly prominent, so much so that we may not even need physical wallets in the future. Prompted by this idea, I started thinking about how we could better translate the data points collected from these endless transactions into something purposeful and innovative. This idea took the form of a card that would automate its design based on the carbon footprint of a person's digital transactions. In this way, users are not only educated about the environmental impact of their transactions, but also provided with a simplified, engaging and user-friendly visual representation of the data.
My process was to develop a 'design algorithm' of sorts. I extracted data from a table published in Science, 2018, on the greenhouse gas emissions of various foods in the supply chain. I then divided this data into eight categories and color coded each category. Black represents the foods with the highest carbon footprint and green represents the foods with the lowest.
Whenever you buy a food, it is assigned to one of the eight categories, depending on its relative carbon footprint. As a result, the Carbon Card in the digital wallet would automate and change its appearance with every purchase. This raises awareness of how one's diet affects the environment in the simplest visual way possible.
In addition, everyone can get a simple and more vivid picture of the environmental impact of their food purchases and begin to consciously make their everyday food choices more environmentally friendly.
„Carbon card created a heated discussion in the jury, while we all really liked the idea and the message that comes with the concept – we debated when and if ever this concept can become reality. If you see the big picture, companies will have to become transparent about their products and their manufacturing - and this is the only way, we can track and then reduce emissions. Carbon Card is a symbol of awareness – it’s a design creating visibility for your own personal footprint on this planet. I find that very powerful.“ – Prof. Oliver Grabes
University of the Arts, London - Central Saint Martins, Graphic Communication Design