We use cookies for site personalization and analytics. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

friendly Are You?


Click here to subscribe to the print edition. [image, unknown] New Internationalist 329[image, unknown] [image, unknown] [image, unknown] November 2000[image, unknown] Click here to search the mega index.

[image, unknown]   [image, unknown]

[image, unknown]

Here’s a questionnaire that will set you thinking about new
ways to change your life. Check the boxes to the right of as many
of the answers that apply to you, then check your score and
see how you tally on this voluntary audit of sustainability.

Energy and transport

[image, unknown] 1 Travelling to work I:
[image, unknown]  Work flexitime to avoid commuter traffic
[image, unknown]  Telecommute (i.e. work at home)
[image, unknown]  Take the bus or subway
[image, unknown]  Walk or bike
[image, unknown]  Drive my car, always

2 I would use my car less if:
[image, unknown] Gas/petrol were twice as expensive
[image, unknown] I didn’t need a car for my job
[image, unknown] Public transport were half the price and twice as frequent
[image, unknown] I own a car but rarely use it
[image, unknown] I don’t own a car
[image, unknown] Hell freezes over. I’ll drive my car as much as I please

3 At home I:
[image, unknown] Keep my thermostat at 20 degrees Celsius or lower in winter
[image, unknown] Heat only the room I’m in
[image, unknown] Turn off lights when I’m not using them
[image, unknown] Limit or avoid use of air conditioning
[image, unknown] Choose personal comfort at all costs and damn the consequences


[image, unknown] 1 Before buying something I consider:
[image, unknown] The environmental and human-rights record of the company
[image, unknown] Is it made of recycled materials and is it recyclable?
[image, unknown] Do I need it?
[image, unknown] How will I dispose of it when I’m done with it?
[image, unknown] Do I like it and does it make me feel good?

2 With regard to price, my policy is:
[image, unknown] Buy from local merchants no matter what the cost
[image, unknown] You get what you pay for, sometimes it’s worth spending more
[image, unknown] Buy name brand, you can trust it
[image, unknown] l Buy the lowest cost item no matter what the environmental cost
[image, unknown] Buy what I want and don’t consider price

3 I believe:
[image, unknown] I only buy what I really need
[image, unknown] Over-consumption driven by corporate advertising is a major threat to the planet
[image, unknown] I’d rather buy used to save money and resources
[image, unknown] If I recycle, it’s okay to consume as much as I want
[image, unknown] It doesn’t matter if I go into debt to get what I want
[image, unknown] Whoever dies with the most toys wins

Money and work

1 What changes are you willing to make in
earning a living to protect the environment?

[image, unknown] Job share, work part-time or take a pay cut
[image, unknown] Lobby for change in my company
[image, unknown] Quit if my company’s products, policies or practices are bad for the environment
[image, unknown] Change professions
[image, unknown] None, my main concern is looking after number one

2 What is the purpose of your paid job?
[image, unknown] Saving for the future
[image, unknown] Advancing in my profession and doing what I was trained to do
[image, unknown]  Making a contribution to others and to society
[image, unknown] Getting out of the house
[image, unknown]  Paying the bills and buying as much stuff as possible

[image, unknown]I choose the kind of work I do because:
[image, unknown] It’s all I could get with the education I have
[image, unknown]  It’s interesting, challenging and useful
[image, unknown]  I wanted to make a contribution
[image, unknown]  I fell into it
[image, unknown]  My family expects it of me
[image, unknown]  It’s secure and I don’t know what else to do


1 I choose my food on the basis of:
[image, unknown] How I will dispose of the packaging
[image, unknown] Eating as low as possible on the food chain
[image, unknown] Nutritional value
[image, unknown] Whether it is genetically modified or whether chemicals were used in growing it
[image, unknown] What’s grown locally and is in season
[image, unknown] What’s quickest and easiest to prepare

[image, unknown] 2 I get most of my food from:
[image, unknown]  A community-supported garden
[image, unknown]  Local grocer
[image, unknown] I grow or raise it myself
[image, unknown]  The supermarket
[image, unknown]  Fast food restaurants

3 I eat because:
[image, unknown] I’m hungry
[image, unknown] I’m taking a break
[image, unknown] It’s mealtime
[image, unknown] It rewards me
[image, unknown] Others around me are eating
[image, unknown] I’m bored

4 I stop eating because:
[image, unknown] I’m full
[image, unknown] My plate is empty
[image, unknown] I’ve had my fair share
[image, unknown] I’m stuffed
[image, unknown] Someone is watching


[image, unknown] 1 I select my recreational activities based on these criteria:
[image, unknown] Not having to travel far
[image, unknown] What my family or social circle enjoys
[image, unknown] Being out in nature
[image, unknown] Keeping my body fit and stimulating my mind
[image, unknown] Environmental impact, use of resources
[image, unknown] The least exertion possible
[image, unknown] Booze, sun and sex

2 The relationship between money and my recreational activities:
[image, unknown] I spend very little; the best things in life are free
[image, unknown] I spend more than I’d like because of family demands
[image, unknown] Price is no object
[image, unknown] I take expensive vacations as a reward for hard work

3 For me recreation is:
[image, unknown] An escape
[image, unknown] Relaxing
[image, unknown] Deeply nourishing
[image, unknown]  A luxury afforded by my affluence
[image, unknown] A waste of good time


How do I evaluate what I buy for my children?
[image, unknown] I give them an allowance and leave them to decide
[image, unknown] They have to earn money for what they want
[image, unknown] I believe if you give kids love you don’t need to buy them so many things
[image, unknown] I let them buy what they want
[image, unknown] I buy only brand names; they’re better quality

[image, unknown] 2 Before buying an item for my children I consider:
[image, unknown] Do they want it? Do they need it?
[image, unknown] How long will it last?
[image, unknown] How will I dispose of it when they’re done using it?
[image, unknown] Is it made of recycled materials and is it recyclable?
[image, unknown] Will it give them status with their peers?
[image, unknown] Will they love me more?

3 My decision to have or not to have children is/was:
[image, unknown] Made as my contribution to humanity
[image, unknown] Limited to having only one child
[image, unknown] Based on my sense of the needs of the planet
[image, unknown] Because I love children and enjoy parenting
[image, unknown] My own business
[image, unknown] Based on others’ expectations
[image, unknown] Made to rekindle the love in my marriage


[image, unknown] 1 Whom do I recognize as my community?
[image, unknown] Family and friends
[image, unknown] People who share my values or religion
[image, unknown] People in my neighborhood or my city
[image, unknown] People in my country
[image, unknown] All humankind and all creation
[image, unknown] Me, myself and I

2 I participate economically in my community by:
[image, unknown] Paying taxes
[image, unknown] Buying local
[image, unknown] Giving to my church or to a charity
[image, unknown] Volunteering my skills
[image, unknown] Borrowing from the bank because I’m always in debt

3 My motivations for community participation are:
[image, unknown] Enjoyment
[image, unknown] Caring and compassion
[image, unknown] Part of my responsibility as a citizen
[image, unknown] To make sure my interests are protected
[image, unknown] I like to be in control and my neighbours are too stupid to run things

4 I don’t participate or support my community as much as I would like because:
[image, unknown] I consider my job socially useful and it takes all my energy
[image, unknown] My cup is full; I already volunteer as much as I can
[image, unknown] I’m afraid of being a fool
[image, unknown]  It’s inconvenient
[image, unknown]  I don’t think I have anything to offer
[image, unknown]  It doesn’t make any difference

Sustainability Score Card
Check out your score below to gauge your personal
progress on the road to sustainability.

[image, unknown] = Your score x 1
[image, unknown] = Your score x 2
[image, unknown] = Your score x 3
Total A =
[image, unknown] = Your score x -1
[image, unknown] = Your score x -2
[image, unknown] = Your score x -3
Total B =


75+ Planet pleaser
60-74 Earth activist
50-59 Green novice
40-49 Eco-loser
under 40 Get a life

Magazine version adapted from How Earth-Friendly Are You? A Lifestyle Self-Assessment Questionnaire developed by The New Road Map Foundation (www.newroadmap.org), Seattle, WA, USA. On-line version developed by Simon Loffler
The complete version of this survey is available from The Simple Living Network (www.simpleliving.net), PO Box 233, Trout Lake, WA 98650. Tel 509 395 2323 or e-mail [email protected].

*You Must have internet explorer v4.0 or higher or netscape v4.0 or higher for the auto tally to function.

Illustrations by Scot Ritchie : Three in a box

[image, unknown]   [image, unknown]

Previous page.
Choose another issue of NI.
Go to the contents page.
Go to the NI home page.
Next page.

Subscribe   Ethical Shop