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Consumer Consequences

Find out if you are living a sustainable life.

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About the game

What would the world look like if everyone lived like me?

Welcome to Consumer Consequences, our interactive game designed to illustrate the impact of our lifestyles on the Earth. It's part of American Public Media's special series, "Consumed," which explores whether the modern American lifestyle is sustainable in the long run. (Stay tuned to this site for more "Consumed" content).

Consumer Consequences will ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans… if everyone lived like you.

Keep an eye on the background graphics of your in-game world as you play. They'll slide across the screen like theater scrims as you answer questions to illustrate what your "world" of consumption would look like. They'll reflect the waste you produce… the infrastructure (commercial, residential, industrial and transportation) you require… the energy (fossil, nuclear, and renewable) you consume… and how your lifestyle impinges on forests and other undeveloped land.

The impact of your lifestyle is calculated based on the "ecological footprint" model created by our research partner, Redefining Progress. Learn more about ecological footprinting or about the calculations that underlie Consumer Consequences.

Consumer Consequences lets you compare your lifestyle with other players and gives you a chance to modify your choices and reduce your footprint. You'll also have the chance to join tens of thousands of people who are sharing their knowledge and experience through the Public Insight Network, making public radio reporting even stronger on American Public Media programs like Marketplace,® Weekend America,® and Speaking of Faith.®