Dubai: Dubai Municipality has made it easier for residents to calculate the impact they are having on the environment.
A new website, footprint.dm.ae, calculates an individual's carbon footprint depending on their answers to a few simple questions.
The UAE has one of the highest per capita carbon footprints in the world.
According to the 2008 WWF Living Planet Report, the UAE has the world's worst ecological footprint per person followed by the United States and Kuwait.
The ecological footprint is a measures of resources used to absorb an individual's waste.
The government has been taking strides aimed at reducing carbon footprints and making residents environment aware.
A quiz on the website asks a number of questions, ranging from a person's meat consumption, mode of transport and water wastage to the temperature setting of their air conditioning, before calculating a carbon footprint based on the answers.
For instance, a family of two that eats more meat and less vegetables, lives in an apartment without much greenery, uses a mid-sized car for over three hours every day and uses no fixtures for energy and water saving would be shocked to know that they are "living a life as if we have 4.56 planets to support us while we have only one".
Aiming to educate
Hamdan Khalifa Al Shaer, Director of the Environment Department, said the newly launched website is aimed at educating people on the different aspects that contribute to a high carbon footprint.
"We have provided a platform to measure their ecological footprints and look at the impact on the environment caused by their actions, and encourage them to change their lifestyle," he said.
The Dubai Municipality encourages people to eat more organic in-season foods, reduce meat consumption, choose foods produced in the region or that do not travel long distances, use foods with less packaging and avoid waste.