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Groceries Priced by Carbon Footprint

Innovative environmentally positive idea being introduced in Sweden that expects to adjust shoppers' purchasing criteria and habits.

We all make decisions at the grocery store based on price and ripeness, but how often have we ever made a purchase decision based on the carbon cost of a product before popping it in our basket? The good news is that a new grocery store in Sweden is making it easier to shop consciously with the price of items related to their carbon footprint. 

The Climate Store, operated by the Swedish food brand, Felix, has started displaying the carbon impact differences between plant-based and meat-based foods as well as the toll that long-distance food shipping takes on the environment. 

Food production is responsible for roughly 25 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, but does the average shopper have any idea which foods are the biggest culprits? The Climate Store allocates shoppers a weekly budget of 18.9kg CO2, so customers must think more critically about the footprint of their shopping habits.

“It will be exciting to see how customers react to trading [like this] and see if they manage to stay within their weekly budget,” Thomas Sjöberg, marketing manager for Felix, said. “I think it will be an eye-opener for many to see how certain choices affect what they can afford to get in the same lunch bag.”

Looking ahead, the store plans to enhance its labeling to provide a more detailed breakdown of each products’ carbon footprint. The store expects that the end result will be that shoppers will gradually trend towards buying local, seasonal, plant-based products.

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