Yesterday, my husband and I cleaned out our closet, then headed over to the Goodwill trailer in the Safeway supermarket parking lot to drop off seven bags of clothes, shoes, books and miscellaneous (where did that Executive Golf Putter come from, in the first place?). Minutes after purging, we had an uncontrollable urge -- to head to the mall to buy stuff to fill the empty closet. Is this a uniquely American tendency? Five new pairs of socks later, we were back home and ready to answer the question by taking an online quiz to determine whether we were hogging more than our fair share of the Earth's resources by making unnecessary trips to Nordstrom. At Myfootprint.org, I learned:
This Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates how much
productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you
discard. After answering 15 easy questions you'll be able to compare
your Ecological Footprint to what other people use and to what is
available on this planet.
CAUTION: THIS QUIZ MAY SURPRISE YOU, SHOCK YOU, OR MAKE YOU THINK. PLEASE REMAIN CALM...BUT NOT TOO CALM!!
Calmly, but not too calmly, I answered questions like: How often do you eat animal based products? (beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products) Answer: very often (meat daily). Although I had hoped to sugarcoat my answers, the blunt questions left no room for prevaricating: Do you have electricity in your home? Hmm, well, yes, I guess so, although I was tempted to respond the way my teenage daughter might: Are you asking because you have electricity in your home? In the end, my score was scary. I needed 19 acres of land to support my wasteful lifestyle. WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 ECOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON. IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 4.3 PLANETS. Luckily, I still had the socks receipt from Nordstrom.