Divorce kills the environment?
Um, they had to do a study to figure out that two homes pollute more than one?
If you thought divorce wreaked havoc on your family life, your children and your finances, now you can add another victim to the list – the environment.
A new scientific study deduces divorce pollutes the environment, because it splits households in two, doubling the demand for electricity and even water.
"More households mean more houses," said Jianguo Liu, professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University, who co-authored the report published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"To build more houses, you need more land, more construction material and more energy."
Four people living under one roof will share light, heat, air conditioning and a humming fridge, Liu said. One person living alone needs all those things too.
In the United States, divorced households required an extra 38.5 million rooms in 2005, costing the country an additional 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – more than Ontario households use in a year, the report states.
They also used an extra 627 billion gallons of water – more than four times what Toronto uses in a year, according to Liu's research.
The study analyzed data from 12 countries, including Cambodia and Greece, but not Canada.