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Environment

Improve the Planet with the Click of a Mouse?

 

Do you know the impact of your ecological footprint?
Uncover your ecological footprint / photo: Vu Bui, flickr

Looking for another reason to pass on that second glass of wine with dinner?

Turns out indulging in more Merlot not only increases your caloric intake, but your global footprint as well.

I learned this from a website I stumbled across the other day – Consumer Consequences – that offers a new twist on measuring your global ecological footprint. It builds on the methodology behind the Ecological Footprint Quiz, which “estimates the amount of land and water area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis.” Consumer Consequences builds on this idea by helping a user answer the question, How many ‘Earths’ would be needed to sustain life if everyone lived like me?

The site maintained by American Public Media assesses the total number of ‘global acres’ (biologically productive space on earth) each part of your life consumes and projects how many planets would be needed if everyone consumed like you.

The quiz asks a series of questions to help evaluate consumption in six areas: home (how and where you live); energy use (electricity used in the home); trash disposal; transportation; food and drink; and shopping (use of goods and services).

Turns out even though I live in a small apartment, am a diligent recycler who buys organic and doesn’t own a car, it would still take the biologically productive space of three earths if everyone lived like me.

The site also offers tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint and influence environmental policy.

Now if only sustainable living were as simple as taking the quiz…

 

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