Today, Michael Mandiberg is launching Real Costs, "a Firefox plug-in that inserts emissions data into travel related e-commerce website." Really. This beta version adds CO2 emissions data to websites like Orbitz and for airlines, while later versions will work with car directions, car rental, and shipping websites. Videographer Kelly Loudenberg spoke with Michael about the Real Costs and what he hopes people will get out of the information.

And here's a screenshot that shows what the Real Cost plugin looks like in action - you can see how emissions compare between a flight and taking the bus or train (watch the video and you'll hear Michael's thoughts about how this information can be especially useful with respect to shorter flights).


Michael developed the Real Costs with the help from an ecological adviser at Columbia's Earth Institute and others as well as Eyebeam, Rhizome, CUNY, and the College of Staten Island.