A friend just sent me Global Footprint Network’s ecological footprint calculator, built in partnership with Free Range Studios. I’m a fan of Free Range’s work, so was excited to take a quiz. Now I haven’t played a video game since ColecoVision in the 80’s, so my first surprise was that I’d have to pick an avatar, something I thought was confined to things like Second Life. But I got to have the red hair that I always wanted. However, the fun quickly ended, when at the end of the quiz I received my results, and there was the sentence, “if everyone lived like you, we’d need 3.6 Planet Earths to provide enough resources.” 3.6?! I thought maybe I’d get 1.5 or even 2, but over 3? I was quickly brought back to reality.
While I think that the site could use some improvement, for instance almost half of my footprint came from “Services” but I couldn’t quite tell how that section was calculated so that I could improve there, it is an easy way to see the various aspects of our lives that contribute to how we tread on the earth.