Carbon Hero – The Personal Carbon Use Calculator


Andreas Zachariah's Carbon Hero (Image courtesy BSI)
By Andrew Liszewski

Like Ben Storan with his Personal Wind Turbines, Andreas Zachariah was also one of the winners of the 2007 BSI (British Standards Institute) Sustainability Design Awards. But instead of harnessing wind power Andreas’ invention is designed as a wake up call to get people to understand what their impact on the environment really is. It’s called the ‘Carbon Hero’ and it’s basically a keychain sized device that’s used to keep track of a person’s ‘carbon footprint’ when it comes to the modes of transportation they use.

Carbon Hero™ calculates the exact carbon footprint of the user’s transport habits by identifying different forms of transport taken as a user travels through ‘space’, by virtue of their relative location, velocity and the pattern of their activity. All of this comes in a unit the size of a key ring.

Once gathered, the data is downloaded to software on a PC or mobile phone which displays the amount of carbon used and the amount of credits needed to be purchased in order to offset the amount used.

Andreas felt that while people have become more conscious and educated about the products they buy being environmentally friendly they’re less concerned when it comes to public or private transportation. By giving them tangible data on how their own transportation habits affect the environment they’ll be more likely to change those habits in an attempt to improve their ‘footprint.’

[ He’s a Carbon Zero Hero Press Release ]


  1. Damn, when I saw the title I was excited thinking there was some kind of new game coming out along the lines of guitar hero. It would a fun game you have to hit the buttons in the correct sequence to create things from carbon but if you mess up the sequence you end up with some kind of strange mutation.

  2. It’s shit like this that bothers me about the whole global warming thing. So this gadget tells me how much “carbon” (gotta love that, of all the pollutants we put out that affect the envorinment, the global warming alarmists manage to dumb it down for us by just calling it “carbon”), and then we can feel warm and fuzzy about ourselves by just throwing money at someone who will “offset” it for us. Really? Everyone, send you money to me, and I’ll do a better job of offsetting your carbon footprint…. really I will, you can trust me, just like you can trust them, right?

  3. This is stupid. Global Warming has been proven to not be caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The Media-inslaved people of the world and especially the US for the most part have no idea of the other sides of the global warming story. I think we should figure out how to clean up the environment rather than control how much CO2 we put into the environment. Im all for a cleaner environment and stricter rules for Corporations regarding what they can emit because they emit more than jsut pure CO2. This device is a reflection of how propagandized the world is.

  4. Hi, Carbon is a unit, and at the moment the only one we have as a standard. Many other pollutants are just factors of it.
    And I agree about Offsetting. Its a very imperfect option, but only because the industry has too many cowboys ripping people off. Done properly, throught the right projects offsetting is a very powerful tool. I’ve seen it first hand.
    Hopefully the industry will realise to self-regulate before good will is lost.
    The real driver behind Carbon Heros development was the endless useless unspecific, vague and tiresome carboncalculator sites popping up everywhere…offering to seperate you from your money.
    This is just an information/education tool, as generally people dont like being told what to do.
    The photo is the sensor AND a mobile running the app. And as for putting the keyring up your ass…well thats mostly methane and other nasty stuff, and No Athios I didnt design it for that purpose.
    But thanks for the posting

  5. Mmm, okay sorry, that was rather rude. But it is pretty damn big.
    I just saw another post about a GPS device, and they have a picture of it hanging off a belt-loop on your pants so it won’t clutter up your pocketspace. I think that would be a more practical idea for your tracker too… : P

  6. Andreas, I love the idea and great ergomonics/aesthetics. I hope this idea makes it way into production. I’m just wondering how it works. I would guess that inside the keychain is a sensitive GPS module such as the SIRF Star III/II and some clever programming which determines what mode of transport is being used by looking at speed, acceleration, time taken between two points (like average speed traffic cameras).
    Thanks for clearing this up (hopefully)