Test your Green IQ


Test your Green IQ


Test your Green IQ




You may see yourself as an eco-warrior who shops responsibly, drives a hybrid car, and recycles faithfully—

but how much do you really know about reducing your environmental impact?

1. Rank the following cars in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions on a city drive, from lowest to highest:

a) Honda CR-V b) Toyota Prius

c) Smart car d) Porsche Cayenne

e) BMW 5 series sedan

2. Which type of livestock requires the most amount of grain and forage inputs per kilo of animal product produced?

a) Broiler chickens b) Beef cattle

c) Pigs d) Lamb

3. If you leave a computer on standby, how much power does it consume compared to when it is turned on?

a) 5% b) 10%

c) 20% d) 30%

4. If you plan on adding a source of renewable energy to your home, which is cheapest to install and most cost-effective in the long run?

a) A small wind turbine of less than 5 kilowatt

b) Photovoltaic cells, which convert UV rays to electricity

c) Solar heating, where solar thermal panels heat the house’s hot water

d) A geo exchange/heat pump

5. What were Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, in millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent?

a) 398 b) 503

c) 687 d) 747

6. How many kilograms of greenhouse gases, in carbon dioxide equivalent, could a North American save in a year by switching from driving to taking public transport to work?

a) 100 b) 200

c) 1,200 d) 2,200

7. How much carbon dioxide does an average tree

absorb over its 80-year lifespan?

a) 200 kg b) 300 kg

c) 400 kg d) 500 kg

8. What uses less water: running a full dishwasher or cleaning the same number of dishes by hand?

9. Which province has the largest percentage of households composting their organic waste?

a) British Columbia b) Quebec

c) Prince Edward Island d) New Brunswick

(continued on pg. 42)

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(continued from pg. 40)

10. Which province has the highest percentage of households using pesticides on their lawns or gardens?

a) Alberta b) Saskatchewan

c) Manitoba d) Ontario

11. On average, North Americans who live in suburbs generate more greenhouse gases than people who live in cities. How much more?

a) 3 times more b) 5 times more

c) 9 times more d) 11 times more

12. What is the definition of biofuel?

a) Gas made from insect flatulence

b) Another word for ethanol

c) Any fuel made from renewable organic sources

d) Methane made from the fermentation of waste

13. The world’s surface temperature has been rising since the 1800s. Since the late 1940s, has Canada’s average temperature risen:

a) half as fast as the world’s average?

b) about the same as the world’s average?

c) twice as fast as the world’s average?

d) slightly faster than the world’s average?

14. How much have Canadian greenhouse gas emissions fallen or risen since 1990, the base year for emission levels under the Kyoto Protocol?

a) stayed the same b) dropped 15%

c) risen 20% d) risen 25%

15. When Ireland passed a plastic bag tax in 2002, now 35 cents a bag, usage dropped within weeks.

By how much?

a) 40% b) 50% c) 70% d) 90+%

16. If you changed your diet from eating meat every day to eating vegetarian meals half the time, how much carbon dioxide equivalent would you save in one year?

a) 75 kg b) 150 kg c) 500 kg d) 700 kg

17. If you drive 17 km one way to work, and decide to work from home just one day per week, how much carbon dioxide equivalent will you save in one year?

a) 150 kg b) 250 kg

c) 450 kg d) 550 kg

18. How much water does a family of four save in a year by switching from a typical toilet to a low-flush variety?

a) 40,000 litres b) 60,000 litres

c) 80,000 litres d) 100,000 litres

19. How much higher was Canada’s 2006 temperature than 1951-1980 normals?

a) Just under Io C b) 2.4° C

c) 3.6° C d) 4.2° C

20. How many chemicals does the average Canadian have in his or her blood?

a) 12 b) 23 c) 35 d) 44

(Answer key on pg. 44)

Calculate your carbon footprint

The average Canadian consumer generates 5,000 kg of carbon dioxide annually. To find out roughly how you measure up, pull out your utility bills, grab a calculator, and follow these simple instructions. BY ALEXANDRA SHIMO


Multiply the number of kilowatt hours you consume annually (usually found on your electricity bill) by

i) 0.84 if you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Nova Scotia

ii) 0.42 if you live in Ontario, New Brunswick, N.W.T., Nunavut or P.E.I.

iii) 0.034 if you live in any other province or territory


Multiply the cost of your monthly fuel bill by 50


Multiply the number of kilometres you travel annually by

i) 0.1, If you drive a small car or a hybrid

ii) 0.17, if you drive a medium-sized car

iii) 0.36, if you drive a large car, SUV or sports car


i) Multiply the number of return short-haul flights (less than four hours) you take in a year by 400

ii) Multiply the number of return long-haul flights (more than four hours) you take in a year by 1,000


Everyone creates garbage. Add 300.


i) Do you recycle newspaper? If not, add 83.

ii) Do you recycle aluminum and tin cans? If not, add 75.


Add A + B + C + D + E + F

Note: This calculation is for a one-person household. If you live with more than one person, then divide the total of A + B + C by the number of people living in your household.


(in kilograms of carbon dioxide per year)

Less than 3,000: excellent

3,000 to 4,000: good

4,000-6,000: average

More than 6,000: poor

ANSWER KEY: 1. Toyota Prius, Smart car, Honda CR-V, BMW 5 series sedan, Porsche Cayenne 2. d) Lamb 3. c) 20% 4. c) Solar heating 5. d) 747 6. d) 2,200 7. a) 200 kg 8. A dishwasher (no rinsing beforehand) 9. c) P.E.I. (91%) 10. c) Manitoba (44%) 11. c) 9 times more 12. c) Any fuel made from renewable organic sources 13. c) twice as fast as the world’s average 14. d) Risen 25% 15. d) 90+% 16. d) 700 kg 17. d) 550 kg 18. c) 80,000 litres 19. b) 2.4° C 20. d) 44