Sustainable Lifestyle

Does your blood run green? Do you walk to work five days a week, have a compost heap in your backyard and sew up holes in your clothes? Or do you secretly fear that your magazine addiction is clogging up landfills, your dinner is driving up the greenhouse effect and that your dirty paper towels are responsible for global warming? Is your conscience clean, and is it green?

Determine just how sustainable your lifestyle really is with these five handy calculators, and discover what size footprint you are leaving behind. You may be surprised at the sustainability of your housing, transportation and diet – or you might find a wake-up call that prompts you to improve your life.

1. Calculate Carbon Emissions: How green is your ride? Do you bump the Hummer or take the ankle train to the grocery store on a weekly basis? Calculate the emissions you produce with each trip traveled by car, bus, train or plane with the carbon dioxide calculator on Transport Direct and find out how many kilograms of CO2 your daily commute and vacation trips spew into the air.

2. Calculate Body Mass Index: It might not be politically correct to say so, but smaller people use fewer resources and are friendlier to the planet. Bigger feet leave bigger footprints, and the more food that you consume each day, the more energy, water and resources are being used up on your behalf. How green is your body? Check out the BBC’s Global Fat Scale to compare your Body Mass Index (BMI) to that of your home country and the rest of the world. If you are tipping the scales with a bigger body mass than everyone else, maybe it’s time to focus on a healthier diet – for your sake, and for the planet.

3. Calculate Your Consumption We live in a consumer society, but some manners of consumption (filtered water) are better for the planet than others (bottled water). How green are your daily habits? Use National Geographic’s global consumption index to determine how your buying behaviors are affecting the planet, and everyone on it.

4. Calculate Your Waste: Welcome to the Disposable Age. From cameras and razors to magazines and plastic containers, many of the products we enjoy are designed for one use only. Whether you live off paper towels or wash out your garbage bags and reuse them, this waste calculator (designed for residents of Washington state but applicable everywhere) will help you determine if your habits could be less wasteful.

5. Calculate Total Carbon Footprint: Besides your choice of transportation, your lifestyle affects the planet in many ways. Your home, diet and energy consumption all leave behind a carbon footprint – greenhouse gasses that affect the rest of the world. How green is your life? Use the EPA’s handy calculator to find out your total household emissions, and to learn ways that you can reduce your consumption.

Image: Rubbermaid Products