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In 2008, when British supermarket chain Tesco began disclosing the carbon footprint of some of its goods, more than half of surveyed customers said the information could change their purchasing habits. Since then, desire for greater transparency in product labelling has grown. Last July, Walmart announced it would institute green ratings for every product on its shelves; Dole now discloses which producers supply its organic bananas; and in New Zealand, clothing brand Icebreaker includes a "baacode" on its garments that allows owners to trace the origin of the wool. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a project called SourceMap.org is attempting to provide a database of supplier information for consumers. Here's what MIT researchers say the CO2 footprint might look like for a bed.

PU flexible foam

China

0.43 kg CO 2 e

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High-density fibreboard

China

30 kg CO 2 e (carbon dioxide equivalent)

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Hydraulics

Germany

4.02 kg CO 2 e

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Cotton fabric

Africa

3.54 kg CO 2 e

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Epoxy resin

China

0.8 kg CO 2 e

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Particleboard

China

37.65 kg CO 2 e

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Galvanized steel

Russia

39.84 kg CO 2 e

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Plywood

Poland

130.28 kg CO 2 e

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Pine

Russia

0.86 CO 2 e

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Weight 50.5 kg

Distance travelled 32,664 km

Footprint before transport 246.69 kg CO2e

Transport 0.73kg CO2e

Total footprint 247.42 kg CO2e

Weight 50.5 kg

Distance travelled 32,664 km

Footprint before transport 246.69 kg CO2e

Transport 0.73kg CO2e

Total footprint 247.42 kg CO2e

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Compare with

Walkers crisps 0.08 kg CO 2 e

Timberland Classic boot

55 kg CO 2 e

Return flight from Toronto to NYC

400 kg CO 2 e

Patagonia Rain Shadow jacket 14.5 kg CO 2 e

Tesco Pure Orange Juice

0.96 kg CO 2 e

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