Sustainability — and what that actually means — is a cornerstone of the New Home Economics. As a fun little exercise, I took the “carbon footprint” quiz at myfootprint.org. Here are my results:
If everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need 3.5 earths.
Carbon footprint: Me: 45.2 US average: 91.4
Food footprint: Me: 41.9 US average: 65.7
Housing footprint: Me: 29.1 US average: 31.6
Goods and Services footprint: Me: 21.3 US average 57.7
There’s a lot about these quizzes that is super frustrating to me, such as why don’t I get extra points for my compost bin? My rain barrel? The fact that we only eat meat once per week?
One thing I could do to improve my quiz score would be switching to CFLs, but I have a really hard time believing that would make a huge difference for my family. What happened to simply switching off lights? (We don’t own the electric company, you know.) Our electric bill is pretty minimal. So it’s hard for me to get motivated to save a dollar or two while ensuring that Adam and I will both go crazy from hospital lighting-induced headaches. Not to mention the sticky little subject of disposing of all those CFLs.
I like to think of myself as above-average when it comes to how “green” my lifestyle is. But even I apparently require 3.5 earths, so I clearly have a lot to learn. Well, this is supposed to be a journey, right?
Coming this weekend: in which I plant my cool-season vegetables, add in a “3 sisters” element to my garden plan, and try to find a way to keep the rabbits from eating my tulips that doesn’t involve hasenpfeffer stew.
April 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm
Hi there, just stumbled across this blog while browsing some of my regular sources for sustainability. I’ve been wanting to do some of my own research on sustainability and such (New Home Economics is a great descriptor), but unfortunately haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would like to the process. I’m excited about this blog and plan to stay tuned. Thanks for allowing us to participate in your journey to more conscientious living.