Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Ecological Footprint Calculator from Earth Day Network




Washington, DC – Earth Day Network, an international environmental advocacy organization and a recognized leader in the field of carbon footprint measurement, has just released its newest tool to combat climate change: The Ecological Footprint Calculator. Set to debut on August 25, 2008, the Footprint Calculator is intended to raise environmental consciousness in an educational, user-friendly, and fun way.  


Created by the originators of the ecological footprint, Global Footprint Network, the calculator provides users with a three-dimensional avatar of their choosing, and situates them on a block in a virtual neighborhood. The user is then taken through a series of questions about her food consumption, energy use, favorite mode of transportation, type of residence, recycling commitment, and spending habits. Using a scroll bar, users can approximate their usage with pithy sayings like, “I’m a farmer’s market friend but I really like potato chips,” indicating, in this case, that she eats local foods often-- but not always.


“It’s fun to use and really conveys a powerful message,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “Anyone who logs on to our site can determine what a big impact their unique combination of personal habits has on their environment, and what they can do about it.”


Results are shown first in relative terms; after the Footprint Calculator analyzes a user’s living habits, it tells her how many “planets” would be necessary to sustain human life- if everyone lived just like her. The users are also shown how many acres of land and tons of carbon necessary to sustain their lifestyle. They are then given the option of revisiting the quiz to see where they “went wrong”, and given suggestions on how to reduce their carbon footprint.


“I like that it not only suggests ways to change your habits, but also shows the measurable impact small changes on a personal level can create,” adds Rogers.


Earth Day Network’s Ecological Footprint Calculator has been used by tens of millions around the world to evaluate their environmental impact and make lifestyle changes to reduce it. A powerful educational tool aimed to generate critical thinking and inspire younger generations to choose a sustainable lifestyle.


To take the quiz, visit www.earthday.net/ecofootprint. The new Footprint Calculator has launched with measures for the United States and Australia only, but new batch of countries will be available by the end of the year.


About Earth Day Network


Earth Day Network, www.earthday.net, seeks to grow and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable planet.  It pursues these goals through education, politics, and consumer activism. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries.  More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.