Have you ever calculated how much land area is required to sustain your lifestyle based on the type of housing you live in, the food you eat, the places you go, the items you recycle, and the goods you buy? If you'd like to make more eco-friendly choices but are unsure of where to start, this can help identify areas for change. It's easy to get overwhelmed with "I'M DESTROYING THE PLANET" if you try to make big changes at at once, so pick one area to focus on at a time.
I took three assessments for comparison, and definitely found discrepancies in the generated totals based on the same answers each time. However, the theme is: my carbon emissions are less than the average American, but still more than the rest of the world. If everybody lived like me, we would still need about 2.5 to 3 planets to sustain our population. Ouch.
The Nature Conservancy's Carbon Footprint Calculator framed their questions not as how much you consume in each category, but what steps have you taken to reduce your footprint?
The Center for Sustainable Economy's Ecological Footprint Quiz has links all the way through with tips on how to reduce consumption, and explanations of things like how sprawl affects climate change.
The Global Footprint Network's Footprint Calculator was my favorite. Your answers generate a visual display of your personal consumption (you can even personalize your avatar). It was also the most user-friendly, and you can opt for the quick quiz or more detailed (and thus more accurate) survey.
Did you take the quiz? What did you find out - any surprises? Do you plan to make any changes in your life? As for me, I'm in the market for a bike if you're looking to sell...:)
image courtesy Global Footprint Network