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American consumption habits

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Dear EarthTalk: I read that a single child born in the U.S. has a greater effect on the environment than a dozen children born in a developing country? Can you explain why?
— Josh C., via e-mail

It is well known that Americans consume far more natural resources and live much less sustainably than people from any other large country of the world.

“A child born in the United States will create 13 times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” reports the Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford.

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