Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Measuring Your Impact On The Environment

Awareness concerning human impact on the earth's environment has become a topic of serious discussion as the results of global warming become a reality much sooner than predicted. To help measure an individual's contribution to global climate change National Geographic and GlobeScan have created an instrument called Greendex that includes study results and a personal quiz to measure your environmental impact. The index is based on a study of 14 countries wherein consumer habits and attitudes toward making changes in their daily lives have been recorded and turned into usable data.

The data includes a study of 14,000 consumers worldwide, including findings such as choice of transportation, purchasing of food, environmental attitudes, energy use, recycling and so on. Each country then receives a rating and a ranking based on the results of the data. Measurement is tallied according to the responses of individuals as opposed to national findings based on industry, government, et cetera. I believe this is the first global environmental study to be conducted by looking at the results of individual people's responses.

As expected, the United States leaves the largest environmental footprint due to the level of consumption, while developing countries leave the smallest imprint due to lower levels of consumption. The index will continue to monitor and adjust to changes as environmental awareness is expected to increase in the richest parts of the world. The effects of climate change are expected to hit hardest in the poorest areas of the world.

Personally, I rated a 48 on the quiz section which is similar to that of a Canadian (second worst rating on the global scale) so I guess I'm not on the worst offenders list but I can certainly improve.

A tremendous resource for shopping with increased awareness concerning your environmental impact is The Better World Handbook (303.4 Jones) owned by the CFL. The publishers also maintain a website with a wealth of information.

Related CFL Titles:

Embracing The Earth: Choices For Environmentally Sound Living
363.7 HARRIS

The Global Ecology Handbook: What You Can Do About The Environmental Crisis
363.7 GLOBAL

The Green Lifestyle Handbook
363.7 GREEN

Saving The Earth: A Citizen's Guide To Environmental Action
363.7 STEGER

This Moment On Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision For The Future
333.72 KERRY

- Christopher Bishop

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