This questionnaire is designed to allow you to calculate your ecological footprint
Righteously stolen from NewScientist's Global Environment Supplement. Clumsily adapted for people living outside Australasia by Pseudomancer.
Pick the answers that best apply to you
- If you use a dishwasher every day or every other day, score 6
- On hot, sunny days, do you water the garden or wash the car with a hosepipe? Score 4
WHERE YOU LIVE
- When you last went shopping, did you buy only locally produced fresh products - such as bread, vegetables and meat? If yes, score 2
- Alternatively, do you buy more heavily packaged and processed items and not even bother to look at where food comes from? If the answer is yes, score 15
- What sort of food do you eat? Do you insist on meat with every meal? If so, score 85
- Or do you eat mostly vegetarian dishes? If so, score 30
If you share your home
, divide the score by the number of people sharing and round up the answer.
If your home is...
- a flat with just enough room to swing a cat, score 7
- a terraced house, score 15
- a large and spacious flat, score 12
- a semi-detached house, score 23
- a detached house, score 33
Where did you go last year? If you flew to the far side of the globe, score 155
HEATING AND COOLING
- If you flew about one-quarter the way around the planet, score 85
- If you flew within your Australia-sized locale, score 20
- If, instead, you travelled by road or rail within your Australia-sized locale, score 10
If you have no heating or air conditioning, score 0 and skip to the next section. For everyone else, the energy
to heat or cool your home probably comes from burning fossil fuel
, which releases carbon dioxide
. To soak up this greenhouse
gas, forests have to be planted
, using up land. So, start this section with a score of 45. But on the bright side, you get to subtract some points.
- If you prefer to add another layer of clothes before turning up the heating, subtract 5
- If you use natural ventialtion rather than the air conditioning, subtract 15
- Do you only turn on the heating or air conditioning when absolutely necessary rather than keeping it on all day? If so, subtract 10
If your power comes from only renewable
sources, score 2 and skip to the next section. For everyone else, generating your electricity releases carbon dioxide, so start this section with a score of 75
- Do you always switch off the lights if a room is no longer in use? If yes, subtract 10
- Computers, TVs and hi-fis can now be left on standby. If you shun this setting and switch these devices right off, subtract 10
- Did you drive to college or work today? Is your car a modern, small-engined car? If so, score 40
- Or do you drive a big 4-by-4? Score 75
- If your car is some hideous amalgam of these two, score 50
- Do you take a bus or train, rather than travel by car? If so, score 25
If you are fortunate enough to cycle to work or college, score 3
The last book you read, did you borrow or buy it?
- If you always buy, score 2
- If you always borrow, score 0
- If it's half and half, score 1
- Do you always share your newspapers and magazines? If so, score 5
- If you bin your newspapers when you have finished with them, score 10.
To dispose of waste, you're once again going to us eup valuable land. So, start this section with a score of 100.
- Have you visited the bottle bank in the last month to drop off your empties? If you have, subtract 15
- If you seperate out waste paper for recycling, subtract 17
- If you keep used cans apart and recycle them, subtract 10
- Do you recycle your plastic containers? If so, subtract 8
- Are you keen on composting the organic waste left over from the kitchen and garden? if so, subtract 5
- If you avoid generating waste by, say, buying less or reusing things, then subtract 15.
Many of the amenities you use every day, from roads to shops and buildings, make their own demands on land. People who consume more tend to rely more on these sorts of amenities. So to take account of this, double your total current score.
Each 'point' In your score is equal to one-hundredth of a hectare. So, for example, a score of 350 is equal to about 3.5 hectares.
200 or under Well done, you are living within or close to the average Earth share. If everyone lived like you, then human and non-human existence could be sustainable and equitable. Around two-thirds of the global population have a footprint lower than 200
200 - 400 This is around twice the average Earth share. If everyone on the planet lived like you we would need at least one "extra" planet to support consumption. About 15 per cent of the world's population falls into this category
400 - 600 Your footprint is close to the European average. This is about three times greater than the average Earth share. If everyone lived like you we would need two additional planets to support us. About 7 per cent of the world's population falls into this category
600 - 800 Your footprint is well below that of the average North American. If everyone lived like you we would need to find three additional planets. About 3 per cent of the world's population falls into this category
Over 800 Your footprint is now close to the average Australian and North American. If everyone consumed the same we would need at least four extra planets to live sustainably. About 5 per cent of the world's population has a footprint this big
This is a crude estimate. Check out www.ecologicalfootprint.com for a more detailed calculator.