February 21, 2015

How many Earths does it take to support your lifestyle?

Do you know how many Earths it takes to power your lifestyle? 
Currently, humanity is living off of 1.5 Earths to produce what we use and absorb our waste. The quiz calculates how many Planet Earths it would take to support your lifestyle...if everyone was able to live like you. It also calculates how many global acres you consume. The average American consumes about 30.5. If everyone on Earth lived like the average American we would need 7 Earths to provide for us. 

Average American Consumption 
Katie's Ecological Footprint: 3.9 planets
Being a vegetarian might reduce a significant amount of impact, but my food still comes from far away. I do have a car. I might fly once a year. I live in a house with running water and electricity. I think electricity is the big kicker here that contributes to much of my consumption. I am going to do another post exploring the ways that I can get creative about reducing my electricity consumption.
Katie's Consumption
Calculate your own ecological footprint.
The Global Footprint Network created a handy quiz to rate the impact of your lifestyle on the planet. It looks at food, waste production, travel, electricity, and our households. The quiz is great and allows you to adjust different parts of the quiz to see how that might lower or increase your footprint. I took the test three times--for myself, for an average american, and an eco-conscious person.

My score was 3.9 Earths, Average American 6.9, and Eco-Conscious person 2.8. For kicks, I also took this quiz as if I was in India and answered the questions as if I were still a student there. Indian student impact? 0.6 Earths.

Further Reading:
Footprint Network | Calculator
New Community Project  

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