To get ready for an employee let’s-get-excited-about-going-green workshop that I’m helping to facilitate at work, I’ve been watching a video produced by National Geographic called “Human Footprint.” It is really eye opening in terms of how much we each consume over a lifetime. Really eye opening. In fact, it is rather overwhelming.

The video explores pretty normal items – milk, eggs, oranges, bread – and actually lines up the number of said items an average American will consume in a lifetime. The visual is startling, and it made me ponder all the extra stuff. What about furniture, electronics, clothes, even (gasp!) craft supplies? Over the course of a lifetime, even living a relatively simple lifestyle, I will produce a lot of trash.

Being conscientious is key.

Human Footprint aired in 2008, but there are several clips from it on National Geographic’s YouTube, several resources on their website and a very cool interactive calculator where you can figure out how many tires, soda cans, newspapers and bananas you’ll consume over a lifetime.