Learning From Environmental Footprint Statistics

By November 28, 2007

The Daily Footprint Project has taken me to the micro level of my personal footprint, down to the most minute details. I am only one out of six billion people, however. How do I fit within the larger picture? I wanted to know. I f

ound this world map of environmental footprint on the Footprint Network: The map tells me I am in the largest red zone, along with 300 millions other Americans. Together, we have succeeded at becoming the largest offenders against the environment, both in terms of our per capita and combined environmental footprint (from Living Planet Report):  I am left wondering where does the nine point six come from? What is it about the way we live in this country that makes us such outrageous consumers of the world’s resources? Here is what came to my mind, in random order: round the clock services big cars big houses master bedrooms hot tubs pools large food servings big appliances big everything driving everywhere love of electronics waste, throw away culture malls as meccas online shopping suburbia credit cards advertising red meat processed foods cheap gas cheap water cheap electricity If only things were not so big, and cheap, and convenient, we would not be so tempted to consume as much. I know I wouldn’t. I don’t whenever I go back to France. And the statistics are here to prove it. By La Marguerite, Atelier's green contributor FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at editorial@atelier-us.com

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