Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Honey don't divorce me, think of the environment...

The title of this headline at the Washington Post, caught my eye, Divorce Found to Harm The Environment With Higher Energy, Water Use.

Part of what was stated:
The analysis found that cohabiting couples and families around the globe use resources more efficiently than households that have split up. The researchers calculated that in 2005, divorced American households used between 42 and 61 percent more resources per person than before they separated, spending 46 percent more per person on electricity and 56 percent more on water.

Their paper, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that if the divorced couples had stayed together in 2005, the United States would have saved 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water in that year alone.

Married households use energy and water more efficiently than divorced ones because they share these resources -- including lighting and heating -- among more people, said Jianguo Liu, one of the paper's co-authors. Moreover, the divorced households they surveyed between 1998 and 2002 used up more space, occupying between 33 and 95 percent more rooms per person than in married households.

One wonders how far this could be taken, could we also say that fact that families no longer live together in extended family units also comes into play? It's an interesting article even though I am not sure what type of impact it will have on divorce in our society.

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