Divorce isn't just traumatic for your kids, it's also a strain on the environment, according to a new study by researchers at Michigan State University. "If you increase the number of households, you need more land to build houses, you need to have energy to cook food and to heat in the winter time," explains Jianguo "Jack" Liu, the study's senior author. "If you need more land, then you cut down the forest and cut down trees for fuel, you destroy more habitat for the pandas. There's a direct connection."
According to the study, which examined 12 countries, divorced households took up 33 percent to 95 percent more room per person than married ones did. A snapshot of the United States in 2005 revealed that divorced households occupied an additional 38.5 million more rooms, 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, and 627 billion gallons of water.
A more positive (and, ahem, less heterosexist) takeaway from this study is that living with other people, whether you're related or not, can dramatically shrink your carbon footprint. So quit flying solo and start socking away all that extra money you would have spent living on your own. If nothing else, think of the pandas. ::U.S News & World Report
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