240 pages, illustrations
This is the first book to work out the carbon footprint of (nearly) everything, from a cup of tea and a bottle of wine through to skiing holidays and volcano eruptions. We always hear the same old green advice...fly less, turn the thermostat down, drive a hybrid car. But what about all the other things we buy and do?
Part green-lifestyle guide, part popular science book, this is the first book to provide the facts we need to make carbon-savvy purchases and lifestyle decisions. It also helps put things into perspective with entries for the big things (bushfires, volcanic eruptions and the Iraq war) as well as the little things (newspapers, sending a letter, a pint of beer). How Bad are Bananas? is packed full of surprises – a plastic bag has the smallest footprint of any item listed, while a block of cheese is fairly bad news for the climate – and continuously informs, delights and engages the reader.
"It is terrific. I can't remember the last time I read a book that was more fascinating and useful and enjoyable all at the same time."
– Bill Bryson
"an engaging book that manages to present serious science without preaching.It offers tools that any reader will be able to use and make informed choices, and even seasoned eco-enthusiasts will be in for plenty of surprises"
– New Scientist
"Mike Berners-Lee knows more about carbon footprints than anyone else in the UK. Enjoyable, fun to read and scientifically robust. A triumph of popular science writing"
– Chris Goodall.
"If we're serious about really addressing climate change, we need to become energy and carbon literate, and get to grips with the implications not only of our choices but also the bigger infrastructures which underpin the things we consume. How can we educate our desires unless we know what we're choosing between? Mike Berners Lee, to my complete delight, has provided just the wonderful foundation we need – a book that somehow made me laugh while telling me deeply serious things."
– Peter Lipman, Director of SUSTRANS
"This book is amazing. I was either going "wow" or snorting with laughter.|
– Rachel Nunn, Director, Carbon Neutral Stirling
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Mike Berners-Lee is the founding director of an associate company of Lancaster University which specialises in organisational responses to climate change.