Thursday, August 28, 2008

Consumer Consequences

It's time to play a little game. Yes, a little game with an important message. Our friends over at American Public Media have a sustainability website. On the website you can play the consumer consequences game to find out if you are living a sustainable life. This interactive game is designed to illustrate the impact of our lifestyles on the Earth.

The purpose of the game is to ask the question "What would the world look like if everyone lived like me?" During the game, you will be asked a series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans on the planet if everyone lived like you. Your answers will be calculated (based on the "ecological footprint" model created by Redefining Progress) and the number of Earths needed will change at the top of the screen. Additionally, the background graphics will change as you consumer more natural resources. There is a "Did You Know" banner at the top of each section that is tailored to your answers. This banner provides information about your consumption and tips on how to conserve natural resources.

At the end of the game, you will see the total number of global acres each part of your life consumes. The planet only has 26.7 billion global acres of land and ocean which equals about 4.5 acres per person. If your lifestyle requires more than 4.5 acres, your score will equal more than one Earth.

I urge you to not only play the consumer consequences game, but to take seriously the information it provides. There are a finite number of resources for an ever growing infinite amount of consumers. Please do your part and conserve our precious resources before it is too late. The inpact of your actions has consequences for the entire planet. Play the consumer consequences game at

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