Frequently Asked Questions
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This site is devoted to discovering facts about environmental impact of everyday objects. If you ever wondered whether using plastic grocery bag is better or worse for the environment than paper one, this site is for you. We analyze the production process of various items, as well as the use and disposal (complete life cycle), and score their impact on the environment in three areas: resource depletion, pollution generated, and energy released into the environment. We also combine this impact into one number, the Composite Environmental Impact Index (CEII), to allow a quick and easy comparison of different items.
We pay a lot of attention to details, and gather as much information as possible. However, most of our research is done using the Internet, and even though sites like Wikipedia are quite reliable, there is always a small chance of mistakes, errors and omissions. If you disagree with any piece of data we present, feel free to leave us a comment on the appropriate page, or send us an e-mail.
Separate issue is the relative importance of resources, and relative toxicity of pollutants. These are somewhat arbitrary, but open to discussion as well.
If a resource is not consumed but produced in the process, it is assigned a negative impact.
As majority (about 85%) of industrial and household waste ends up on landfills, it does not matter that much whether that trash will further decompose or not. It will take certain amount of space, and stay there till the landfill is paved over... However, we are considering adding a separate categories for these two classes of trash to increase accuracy of our impact estimates.