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  • Divorce 'bad for the environment'
  • By Chee Chee Leung, Science Reporter
  • The Age
  • 03/12/2007 Make a Comment (1)
  • Contributed by: admin ( 59 articles in 2007 )
As if going through a divorce was not stressful enough - now researchers are saying marriage break-ups are bad for the environment.

A survey of 12 countries shows that rising divorce rates around the world has resulted in more households with fewer people in them.

This escalates the use of resources like water, land and energy, leading researchers to declare that divorces lead to less sustainable lifestyles.

In the US, divorced households could save more than 38 million rooms, 73 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 2373 billion litres (627 billion gallons) of water in a year if their household size was the same as married
households.

Across all the countries studied, which included South Africa, Brazil and Greece, there could have been 7.4 million fewer households if divorced households combined to have the same size as married households.

"More divorce demands more energy," said researcher Jianguo Liu , an ecological sustainability expert at Michigan State University.

"People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor."

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests divorce could also increase the amount of waste generated, and that ferrying children between divorced parents may lead to a hike in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 28% of marriages that began in 1985-87 could be expected to end in divorce. This proportion rose to 33% for all marriages entered into in 2000-02.

In the US, the proportion of divorced households increased from 5% in 1970 to 15% in 2000.

But the researchers say it is not only divorce that is contributing to more households of smaller size. Other factors include people remaining single for longer, and the decrease in multi-generational family households.

Source: Link: http://www.pnas.org

    By:MrSquiggle from Vic, Australia on July 2, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
    It's not the actual separation or getting a divorce that's the problem, it's the way in which it gets done is the issue!

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