On December 4, 2007, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that divorce is bad for the environment. This is the conclusion of a NSF funded study by Jianguo “Jack” Lin and Eunice Yu of Michigan State University. The research documents the fact that more households with fewer people are created as a result of the soaring divorce rate. In turn, the additional households take up more space and use more energy and water. Click on this link Broken Homes Damage the Environment to see a PDF of the NSF news release.
While the study did not address it, there could be a positive side to the trend toward smaller households. These are precisely the household types that market researchers tell us are likely to be interested in living in higher density mixed used neighborhoods. This type of development could offer the opportunity for people to walk instead of drive, and possibly reduce negative impacts on the environment.