Sunday, October 7, 2007

Consumer Consequence: How GREEN Are You?

After reading an article by Desiree Cooper of Detroit Free Press (sent to me by my lovely friend Nikki), I decided to take a look at a game called Consumer Consequences, which is designed to illustrate the impact of our lifestyles on the Earth by calculating your ecological footprint. It's part of American Public Media's special series, "Consumed," which explores whether the modern American lifestyle is sustainable in the long run.

The game asks you a series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans if everyone lived like you. After taking it, I discovered that if everyone lived like me, we'd go through 3.7 planets. The place where I received the most points (which is a bad thing), was in the food category and shopping habits. My eating out habits and the type of food I consume - lots of meat and dairy didn't help (it's time to increase my veggie and fruits intake). I also am a self-proclaimed shopping addict when it comes to clothes and accessories. Time to start mending things where I can and stopping shopping as much as possible...

There are lots of hints and facts along the way that show you where you can help our planet. One thing I found interesting was that a plugged in cell phone charger consumes energy and adds to your monthly bill. I'm going to make a better effort to unplug mine daily from now on. I scored low for how much garbage I go through (one bag a week), due to all that I recycle, so that was a plus.
Take the quiz, it's VERY interesting!

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