Green Science: If you knew what you were spending, would you change your habits?

Here’s an idea: taxi meters for our personal cars.

Why? Because many of us have no idea how the little things in our life actually cost, because the purchase is made once and then forgotten.

Or, causes a wince of regret weeks later when the credit card statement arrives.

Like, for instance, gas.

Quick, how much does it cost to fill your tank? OK, that’s easy.

How much gas does it cost to drive across town, back, then to another part of town?

You don’t know, right?

If you did, and you could see the amount of money ticking up on your dashboard, would it change your habits?

It might.

That’s the premise behind a new upcoming book called “Ecological Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman.

If we really knew the *real* cost of our everyday actions and purchases on the planet and other people, we might finally sit up and take notice.

As a whole, the world’s rich people don’t see that the meter is running wildly out of control for natural resource consumption.

Sooner or later, probably sooner, the bill is going to arrive.


10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now

But what if we could seamlessly calculate the full lifetime effect of our actions on the earth and on our bodies? Not just carbon footprints but social and biological footprints as well? What if we could think ecologically? That’s what psychologist Daniel Goleman describes in his forthcoming book, Ecological Intelligence. Using a young science called industrial ecology, businesses and green activists alike are beginning to compile the environmental and biological impact of our every decision — and delivering that information to consumers in a user-friendly way. That’s thinking ecologically — understanding the global environmental consequences of our local choices. “We can know the causes of what we’re doing, and we can know the impact of what we’re doing,” says Goleman, who wrote the 1995 best seller Emotional Intelligence.“It’s going to have a radical impact on the way we do business.”


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