Acton Institute Powerblog

Stay Green – Stay Married

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Via ABC News:

In the United States, they found that divorced households spent 46 percent more per capita on electricity and 56 percent more on water than married households did. According to the study, if divorced households could have the same resource efficiency as their married counterparts, they would need 38 million fewer rooms, use 73 billion fewer kilowatt hours of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water in 2005 alone.


But Raoul Felder, a prominent New York divorce attorney, is skeptical.

“I think people who want a divorce are so driven to improve their quality of life environmental factors are the least of what they’re thinking about,” he said. “If they’re not thinking about the effect of divorce on children, they’re not going to be thinking what their environmental footprint is going to be or how many kilowatts they’re using.”

Well, yeh.

The article doesn’t even mention the pollutants pumped into the air by ex-spouses driving (and flying) their kids back and forth between two households. I doubt that’s insignificant.

As if conservatives needed another reason to support the family…

Don Bosch


  • It follows from this that single people who live alone use more resources than single people who have roommates.

    Which reminds me of an adult ed class at church I once saw. The acronym was SALT, for Single Adults Learning Together. The joke was that it actually stood for Single Adults Living Together (har har).

  • Don

    LOL! Can two live as cheaply as one?
    Not sure it follows that single folks are necessarily less green. The point of the article compares married with divorced. Unwittingly the divorce atty makes the most important point. Divorcees (esp with kids) are each maintaining what was half of a previously whole household, except that now the energy use doubles, etc, and their focus is more on re-establishing themselves financially or otherwise.

  • Are you saying that two single people living in two different single-bedroom apartments aren’t using more heating and cooling energy than two single people sharing a two-bedroom apartment?

    Clearly the effect is magnified when you are recreating living space for children who are only there a small portion of the time, but the effect is the same.

    Living spaces that have more people per square foot, up to a certain point, are going to tend to be more economically and environmentally efficient.

  • I agree Don. The single person(without kids) always uses less resources. He is exploited mentally after he is bieng divorced and living with no aims in life. He only lives physically and not mentally.

    As a result, he uses less resources than any lovely life.