Ecological Footprint

The Plan:

After I went in and calculated my footprint which turned out to be 6.57 hectares. When I compared it to the footprint of an average Canadian of 7.5, as stated by policyalternatives.ca my number was significantly smaller. However 6 hectares is still a lot. My biggest contributors to this would be food, fun, and clothing. According to the calculation on my sheet my total for food was 200, fun was 170, and clothing was 145.

I compared my number to that of my peers and found I had a much lower footprint than the majority of them. This makes sense when I take into account my different diet and stricter rules involving recycling in my home as well as living in a smaller townhouse. Hailey had 10.6 hectares, Grace L had 9.55, and Anya had 8.86, Simran had 9.35, and Mel had 6.95.

10 Actions that currently increase my footprint:

1. Taking showers that are much longer than 10 minutes

2. My clothing is bought brand new by and for me.

3. I spend over an hour on the computer and watching TV daily.

4. I need a lot of equipment for my activities, sports especially.

5. The space that my activities take up is more than 2 hectares as well.

6. Additionally wild fish is a part of my diet.

7. My family ends up throwing out a quarter of our food due to it going rotten from us not being able to eat it in time.

8. All my waste per average day fits into a shoebox.

9. I flush the toilet every time I use it.

10. On a daily basis I am ingesting dairy products.

 

5 Actions I will try changing:

1. Taking showers that are much longer than 10 minutes

2. All my waste per average day fits into a shoebox.

3. I spend over an hour on the computer and watching TV daily.

4. My family ends up throwing out a quarter of our food due to it going rotten from us not being able to eat it in time.

5. On a daily basis I am ingesting dairy products.

 

How I will try changing my showers is by setting a timer for 5-10 minutes so as to limit my water usage. I can work to reduce my waste by not using an excess amount of materials that end up getting thrown away, and buying items that aren’t all wrapped in materials that cannot be recycled. To reduce my overall TV and Computer use I can cut down my laptop use to nothing other than schoolwork and I can limit myself to half an hour of TV or just cut it out completely. In order to prevent myself and my family from throwing out a quarter of our food due to it being rotten I will eat more of the older foods before we buy new food so it doesn’t all rot. Finally to reduce my ecological footprint I can remove dairy products from my diet.

The Reflection:

Some of the changes that were easy for me to make were taking shorter showers and limiting my waste. For taking shorter showers I made sure to set a timer for 10 minutes and as soon as I hear it I turn off the water and get out thus limiting my water usage for showers. Limiting waste was a bit harder because there is always something small I need to throw away per day such as tissues or tape but reducing it to about the size of a cup wasn’t that hard.

Some of the changes difficult for me to make were limiting computer and laptop usage daily because even as I cut out television I couldn’t limit my computer anymore since I need to do schoolwork and I’m on my laptop way over an hour daily just doing that. Cutting out dairy temporarily was difficult because most of the food I wanted included those and I do a lot of baking and this meant I pretty much couldn’t eat my own creations. Additionally most of my meals include dairy in some form so this didn’t quite work aside from just limiting snacks that I would get myself such as yogurt or cereal.

Obstacles I encountered were the fact that I actually needed to be on my laptop for over an hour and that my parents weren’t actually trying to help much with the changes I was trying to impliment such as limiting waste, eating the older foods before buying new food, and cutting out dairy.

As far as steps I plan to take in the future I don’t believe that I will be able to keep these changes up forever. I enjoy taking longer showers, watching TV, and eating dairy so those will probably revert back to normal. Additionally fun and clothing were my third and second biggest contributors to my footprint but I enjoy having nice clothing and being able to do all sorts of activities so I won’t be changing those much either. I do however feel like after doing this assignment and seeing what my footprint is I can continue to consciously make decisions that will lower my footprint.

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