By Dan Shapley
The task of investigating the amount of carbon dioxide produced by shampoo or a pair of sneakers, is no easy task. That's what the first-generation carbon footprint labels aim to do - give consumers environmental information in a way food labels give nutritional information. It's the conscious consumer's prerogative to ask about the life cycle of their favorite products - how and with what products they were made, whether they can be recycled or reused. As the practice of rating and labeling products based on environmental concerns grows, that process will be much easier, according to a May 19 story in The Economist.