Sometimes I get too intrigued by what is happening elsewhere in the world, and forget to report on the home turf. Tim H wrote in to remind us to cover the Australian Conservation Foundation's (ACF) Greenhome project. People are encouraged to fill in a simple 13 question online survey. Using data from the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) team at the University of Sydney (who produced the Balancing Act report we mentioned here), the ACF then provide a graphical indication of how advanced the reader is along the path to a sustainable lifestyle. Suggestions are offered for simple initiatives that the reader can embrace. And they can take the Greenhome Challenge by committing to these steps, via a 21point action plan. Individual commitments are aggregated to show the progress Australians are making overall. Some fascinating eco statistics are dished up, and we quote a few below:"Australians are big drivers: in fact per capita we own more cars than any other nation except the US. With average use, an Australian family car will travel about 15,000 km [9,300 miles] a year, generate about six tonnes of greenhouse pollution and cost its owners $7,700 [AUD]."
"This is not including the embodied energy and water used to make a car - 83,000 litres [22,000 gallons] of water and 8 tonnes of greenhouse pollution to make one mid-size car. For every litre [~ third of gallon] of petrol you save, you reduce greenhouse pollution by 2.9 kg [6.5 lb]."
"Animal products make up the biggest part of your eco footprint - 34% to be exact. Meat, particularly beef, has a very high environmental impact, using much water and land to produce it, and creating significant greenhouse pollution. In fact if you reduce your intake by one 150g [5.3 oz] serve of red meat each week, you'll save 10,000 litres [2,640 gallons] of water and 300kg [660 lb] of greenhouse pollution in a year."