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One thing that I do in my life is earn extra money just so I can afford organic food as much as possible.

But in this higher-earning job (which is not organic farming and thus not sustainable production itself), I am literally creating a bigger footprint somewhere else just to buy organic food.

Is there a metric to measure average 'environmental impact' per economic dollar, and can this then be compared to a metric for 'environmental impact' of organic vs. conventional food so that the offset of the former from the latter can be calculated?

It is fine to use an isolated example for the metric on the production side if need be, e.g. organic tomatoes vs. conventional tomatoes.

  • Not getting how higher earnings is a bigger footprint. A trader at a desk has a pretty low footprint. – paparazzo Mar 17 '18 at 9:31
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Is there a metric to measure average 'environmental impact' per economic dollar?

I don't think that this is possible. If you're working in the oil and gas sector, your environmental impact per dollar you earn is going to be very high. If, on the other hand, you work at a telecommunications company like I do, or at a law firm, your environmental impact per dollar you earn is going to be very low.

The same thing goes for farming. It's also worth noting that there are better ways to reduce the carbon footprint of produce than organic farming. No-till methods are one of them. But try getting that added as some kind of thing that you see in the grocery store.

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    The scale of the impact is a function of the organic production, though, not of the total amount of environmental impact the OP has on the world through her job. Someone could say "buying organic instead of conventional offsets 3 blubs of GHG and 2 blabs of soil loss". The fact that OP puts 5 blabs of soil per day into a machine that produces depleted uranium underwear makes no difference to this result. – Jean-Paul Calderone Mar 15 '18 at 14:05

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