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'Surging divorce rate bad for environment'

As per a research, the trend has created more household with consequent increases in energy and water consumption.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2007 12:28 IST

Divorce is bad for environment, researchers say. The global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more household with fewer people, has taken up more space and has gobbled up more energy and water.

A suggested remedy is fall back in love, for cohabitation means less urban sprawl and softens the environment hit.

The findings of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Not only the United States, but also other countries, including developing countries such as China and places with strict religious policies regarding divorce, are having more divorced households," Liu is quoted by Science Daily as saying.

"The consequent increases in consumption of water and energy and using more space are being seen everywhere."

Liu and his research assistant Yu started with the obvious -- that divorce rates across the globe are on the rise. Housing units, even if they now have few people in them, require resources to construct them and take up space.

They require fuel to heat and cool. A refrigerator uses roughly the same amount of energy whether it belongs to a family of four or a family of two.

When they calculated the cost in terms of increased utilities and unused housing space per capita, they discovered that divorce tosses out economy of scale.