Years ago, while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, we passed many an interminable wait flipping through the pages of Ranger Rick, a kid’s nature magazine. The games were sure to distract from a runny nose, aching throat or gaping wound (we climbed a lot of trees despite an unfortunate lack of dexterity). We especially liked the what’s-wrong-with-this-picture challenge.

So, for those of you who enjoy this sort of pastime, see if you can find the item that doesn’t belong on the shopping list below.

- Milk

- Eggs

- Apples

- Carbon offsets

- Spaghetti

Trick question! Well, if you live in Norway, that is. According to a Rueters article:
Shoppers at one Norwegian mall can now buy cuts in their carbon footprint as they pick up their weekly groceries. The Stroemmen Storsenter shopping centre outside Oslo began selling the certificates on Saturday, at 165 Norwegian crowns ($30.58) per tonne, to people who feel bad about contributing to climate change.

By midday on Monday, its second day of offering the U.N.-approved Certified Emissions Reductions, it had sold more than a third of the 1,000 CERs on offer and would consider buying more if they sell out, the mall's managers said. They said the certificates were bought by private individuals and by small firms wanting them for their employees.

One CER equals a ton of carbon dioxide emissions reductions. The average Norwegian would have to buy about 11 CERs to cover his greenhouse gas emissions for the year. (Americans would have to buy twice as many.)

Who knew you could purchase peace of mind over-the-counter in a non-pill form?

Story by Alisa Opar. This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008. The story was added to

Copyright Environ Press 2008

Milk, eggs, bread, carbon offsets?
Don't forget to jot down "carbon credits" on your shopping list.