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Green activities 'increase pollution'

People trying to be green by working from home or shopping online could actually be increasing carbon emissions rather than reducing them, according to a study published yesterday.

Consumers who buy online must order more than 25 items from one retailer, otherwise the impact on the environment is likely to be worse than traditional shopping, research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) revealed.

Working from home can increase domestic energy use by up to 30 per cent and lead people to move further away from their employer, stretching urban sprawl and causing pollution.

The findings came from the IET studying "rebound" effects of activities that are commonly thought to be green.