The National Geographic website has a water footprint calculator that walks you through very basic aspects of your lifestyle and give you a sense of how much water you use at home, to produce your diet, to produce the stuff you buy, and to produce the fuel you need to travel. And it compares your use to the American average for each category. Check it out here!
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For the third year running National Geographic has teamed up with Globe Scan to provide the Greendex, an annual survey designed “to develop an international research approach to measure and monitor consumer progress towards environmentally sustainable consumption.” Specifically, the Greendex is a tool to help consumers worldwide to both understand their consumption patterns and to be able to view them within context to others.
The Greendex survey questions were designed to capture the participant’s knowledge, behavior and views on environmental issues and consumer habits ranging from transportation to food choices. The study is based on a sample of 17,000 individuals in 17 countries (14 in 2008). So, while perhaps not a truly “definitive” study on a global scale, the Greendex survey countries represent the heaviest hitters in terms of resource consumption, and the Greendex 2010 Report provides some interesting insights.
Some notables from the study:
– Respondents from 10 of the 17 countries polled showed an increase in “environmentally friendly consumer behavior” between this year and last.
– Consumers with the highest rankings for “green” choices are in developing nations. Top scores go to India, Brazil and China (in that order).
– Uh-oh USA … we’re showing slight improvement relative to ourselves last year, but we’re still at the bottom of the heap.
– The strongest changes in personal behavior that made positive impacts were in the Housing category (home energy efficiency).
Read the highlights report here.
Calculate your own personal “Greendex” here.
And finally, how reliable are self-reported behavior surveys anyway? Separate the fact from fiction with the Market Basket report.