See How Big Your Personal Carbon Footprint Is

February 8, 2011

How many earths does it take to support your lifestyle? If everyone lived the lifestyle of the average American we would need 5 planets to support us all. Yes, FIVE planets. According to the Global Footprint Network, it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year, and humanity’s entire footprint has more than doubled since 1966. Those are some scary numbers as we look towards the future! If you have ever wondered what your ecological or carbon footprint is, here is a simple animated test you can take to find out for yourself. Click on through to the Footprint Calculator, select your location, and begin the test.

I just took it for myself and even with all that I try to do to reduce my footprint, I got back some scary stats:

- If everyone lived like me, we would need 3 planet earths to provide enough resources.
- To support my lifestyle, it takes 16.7 global acres of the Earth’s productive areas.

Yikes! I don’t commute to work, I drive a car with amazing MPG, I don’t generate much trash at all, I eat organic foods, and I do everything I can to be energy efficient at home. And yet I still use way more than my fair share of resources. Granted, it’s a pretty simple quiz with limited answers to pick from, but it’s interesting anyway to see just how big your footprint could be. And once you are done, there are sections to help you find ways to reduce your footprint size.

Take the quiz but be prepared to be shocked!

Filed in: Green • Tags: , , ,

About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
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Comments (2)

  1. DeMarie says:

    I took this quiz and of course, my lifestyle would require just under 4 planet earths. I understand the message this is trying to convey, but I want to know how they calculate those planets. Are they calculating that if every living person, including babies, lived my lifestyle, we would require 4 planets?

    I feel like we get mixed messages. I read that if everyone used 1 roll of recycled toilet paper, we’d save 400,000 trees a year. So, I think to myself, well, I only use recycled t.p. so I making up for 10 people that don’t. My diet is mostly vegetarian, so I’m making up for 3 people that eat meat with every meal.

    I like the message of the Good Human, that if we all made a little change here and a change there, we’d make a difference. This quiz makes me feel like it’s all for naught and I don’t think that’s a good message. Especially if you’re not already on the path to less consumption, you probably figure, why bother?

    Thoughts?

  2. david says:

    Knowledge is power, so they say. :)