Single Person, Double Impact?

<p>The growing population of single-person households may be an ecological time bomb, suggests Heidi Sopinka.</p>
April 28, 2007, 1pm PDT | Michael Dudley
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"The new solo-living cohort are young (25 to 44), far more flush than the thrifty jar-reusing widows that once ruled the one-person roost and, as it turns out, the biggest consumers of energy, land and household goods.

Now that their numbers are shooting up, people who live alone represent what Joanna Williams, a sustainable development professor at University College London, calls 'an environmental time bomb.'

From washers and dryers to toasters and television sets, singletons burn through just over twice as much energy per capita as those who live in a four-person household.

According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, every Canadian throws away almost half a kilogram of plastic packaging a day - a figure that snowballs in the one-person household once the increased per-capita consumption and the gobbling up of takeout and single-serving foods are factored in.

Short of mating for life or joining a commune, if you happen to be unattached and environmentally conscious, it may be time to test your horse sense and peruse the classifieds: Eco-friendly person seeks like-minded roommate to lessen ecological footprint."

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Published on Friday, April 27, 2007 in The Globe and Mail
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