Dec
04
2007

Save your marriage – and the planet

Trouble in paradise?: Would your pending divorce impact the quality of this natural scene? May a little, but a researcher says that the growing number of divorces across the world are having negative environmental impacts.
Trouble in paradise?: Would your pending divorce impact the quality of this natural scene? May a little, but a researcher says that the growing number of divorces across the world are having negative environmental impacts.Courtesy justinrussell
Here’s one more good reason to avoid getting a divorce: it’s not green.

A Michigan State researcher has discovered that there are significant environmental costs to our planet when people divorce. Boiling it down to the bare facts, divorce creates more households with fewer people living in them using up more energy and natural resources.

One stat shared in the study says that Americans spend $3.6 billion a year on water usage through the extra housing units that are needed for people who are no longer living together as married couples.

The study also states that households of divorced couples are less efficient when it comes to heating and air conditioning issues. For instance, the same amount of energy is used to heat a home with two or people living in it.

As the study’s results have been released, however, others are raising questions on other matters of household size. Critics of the study say that it doesn’t look at the environmental factors impacted by those who choose not to marry or those who are living alone due to the death of a spouse. Likewise, the study didn’t address the household environmental impact of people who choose to live together and are not married.

So what do you think? Is there any validity to a study like this? Should environmental impacts be a consideration when assessing personal relationships? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The study is missing importent information, like if two people live together wouldn't they use the same amount of water if they were living together or apart, if someone else lived in the second house how much energy would they use. And isn't it better for people to live apart for taxing, so researchers can do more of these enviroment studies.

posted on Fri, 12/07/2007 - 4:04pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I laughed when I read your last sentence.

But seriously, couples living apart DO use more water and energy than couples living together. For example, if you live with someone, you're likely to combine your dishes when you run the dishwasher (or wash by hand) and your clothing when you do the laundry. If you live apart, the dishes and laundry still have to get done, and that uses more water. I'm sure you can think of a bunch more examples like this.

posted on Fri, 12/07/2007 - 4:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

well i belive that we should all stay together and be happy

posted on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 3:12pm

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