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Wasa introduces the CO2 detox: just water and 10 slices of knäckebröd

Detoxes are popular for their perceived health benefits and as a way to lose weight. But a Swedish food brand believes there's a better reason for severe restriction: CO2 detoxing. According to Wasa, people can reduce their diet's climate footprint by 95% by ingesting nothing but dry 'knäckebröd' and water. So the crispbread maker is encouraging customers to give it a try. Just for a day, and only if they're healthy, over 18 and not pregnant or breastfeeding.

The detox plan? Three plain crackers for breakfast, four for lunch and three for dinner, along with plenty of water. Since paring down to spartan knäckebröd and water might be too much of a challenge, Wasa says it's fine to add a few boiled Swedish potatoes and local apples, which also have a modest CO2 footprint. For post-detox inspiration, the brand directs people to the World Wildlife Fund's food section, which features sustainable recipes that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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So, is this just a gimmicky way to sell more crispbread? Not necessarily. As Wasa points out, its aim is to get people thinking about the environmental impact of what they choose to eat. And a CO2 detox for a day might just kickstart a more climate-smart diet.

Expressed as a fraction of a kilogram of an invisible chemical compound, a carbon dioxide footprint can seem all too abstract. Wasa's campaign makes it concrete by visualizing what an ultra-low CO2 diet could look like: those ten pieces of crispbread that equal a 95% reduction compared to what the average person eats in a day.

To build awareness and nudge consumers towards environmentally responsible alternatives, the first step is crafting a message that's instantly understood and likely to stick. And nowhere near as dry as knäckebröd.

Related: Doconomy billboards bring real-time climate data to Stockholm's streetsShoppers buy less red meat after Norwegian grocer adds CO2 footprint to receipts

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom