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If Everyone Lived Like I Do, We’d Need 2.17 Earths


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According to the Ecological Footprint Quiz, if everyone led a lifestyle like mine we would need 2.17 Earths to live sustainably.

The quiz estimates the area of land and ocean needed to sustain your consumption and assimilate your wastes. It isn’t something we think about much (I know I don’t), but our footprints take up more land and sea than our bodies and even our properties do. Each person, depending on their level of consumption, is sustained by a certain amount of forestland, pastureland, cropland and marine resources.

There are only 27 questions, which ask about your “consumption of food, goods, services, housing, and energy”. The quiz is divided into four sections–carbon, food, housing and goods and services–each which compare your score with the regional average.

How many Earths would we need if all humans led your lifestyle? Share your results in the comments!

I discovered this quiz at My Green Adventure.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    10/04/2011 6:53 PM

    Dang! I’d need almost 5 Earths! Though I think I got dinged because our primary heat is wood-burning, but we use ends and cutoffs from local lumber mills that would be just ground up and thrown away. We’re also pretty heavy into the carnivore category, and MUST drive as there is NO public transport anywhere near us.
    Thank goodness I’ve created a science fiction universe with a large number of habitable planets. I think I need to go co-opt a few……

    • 10/06/2011 9:09 AM

      Ha ha, I’m with Stephen Hawking on that one, John–if you have planets you can co-opt, please do!

      I think I got off a bit easy because I happen to not have traveled anywhere by airplane in the last few years, so I averaged it out to 500km a year or so. For fliers, air travel must account for a lot of the footprint.

      That’s understandable, about the lack of public transport. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city, so for the most part I hoof it everywhere.

  2. 10/05/2011 12:04 AM

    Thanks for sharing this, who knows just how much good can come from awareness!

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