By Tina Rosenberg
On Tuesday I wrote about the LifeStraw Family, an in-home water purification device. The product itself is interesting, but what I wanted to highlight in the column is how its manufacturer, Vestergaard Frandsen, is planning to make money with it. Not from the poor families who use it — they will give it away in western Kenya. Instead, the company plans to be paid in credits they can sell on the global carbon markets. In this system, credits are awarded to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They may then be then bought by polluting companies or governments to offset their own emissions. LifeStraw Family users no longer have to boil their water to make it safe to drink. Less boiling means fewer emissions.