Ecological Footprint Assignment

I was only able to do the changes for a week.

Comparison of Footprint (in hectares)

(taken from the discord server)

8.7 – Bana

8.59 – Kalayla (Me)

7.9 – Ben

6.8 – Draedon

7.45 – Justin

7.45 – Kavyan

11.3 – Colin

7.20 – Clara

I noticed how everyone’s footprint varies, which was interesting to me because I thought that everyone’s would be really similar. I also noticed how my is a little higher than some, so I want to try and reduce it more.


10 Things I Can Change

  • Take shorter showers (1-2 minutes)
  • Donate some of the clothes that I don’t use to a second-hand store
  • Spend generally no extra time on the tv or computer (unless it’s for school)
  • Try to use less garbage (enough garbage to fill a cup only per day or none at all)
  • Not to waste any food at all
  • To not eat wild or farmed fish
  • To not eat any dairy products
  • Instead of doing activities that involve driving somewhere, convince my family to do something like biking somewhere instead
  • Do activities that involve very little equipment rather than ones that involve a lot
  • Spend less money everyday


Five Changes That I Can Actually Change

  • Take shorter showers (1-2 minutes)
  • Donate the clothes I don’t wear to a second-hand store
  • Try to use less garbage (enough garbage to fill a cup only per day or none at all)
  • To not eat any dairy products
  • Don’t waste any food at all



Why Did I Choose These?

For a lot of the do-able ones that I chose, I chose because it was something I could do myself and not have to rely too much on others. For starters, I picked “take shorter showers” because it was something I could change myself. It was also an activity that I sometimes drag on for a long time, so it was something I genuinely wanted to change. Next, I choose to donate the clothes I don’t wear to a second-hand store, I chose this one because it is again something that is do-able, but also something that I hope will benefit someone else. If I give my clothes to a store where someone else can also enjoy them, then two people benefit, I can reduce my ecological footprint and another person gets cool clothes. Next, I chose to try and use less garbage in a day. This is something I chose because eating packaged food creates a lot of garbage and it requires me to really think about what I’m eating through the day. I’m not saying that all packaged foods are really bad for you, but if I generally try to eat things that my family and I have made at home instead of going out and buying individually wrapped snacks, not only will I create less garbage, but eat healthier. Next, I chose to try and not eat any dairy products. This is something that I put on the list because it was between this and not eating fish/seafood. Since I already don’t eat beef, pork and all that jazz, it’s already hard on my parents to decide on dinners. If I stopped eating fish even for a week, it would be harder on them to make dinner and I didn’t want to trouble them with that. Plus, eating no dairy products sounded like a challenge since I use milk a lot for smoothies. Next, I chose to not waste any food at all. I picked this for the list because it’s something that I tend to do a lot and something I really want to change about myself. I want to try and not waste any food so that both money and food aren’t wasted as well.


Specific Ways I Will Complete These Changes

  1. Take Shorter Showers


Whenever I take a shower this week, I will set a timer for 1 minute and 50 seconds so that I know that when the timer goes, I should get out of the shower.


  1. Donate the Clothes That I Don’t Use to a Second-Hand Store


This week, I’ll pick out all of the clothes that I haven’t worn in the past 2 weeks or don’t want anymore and put them in a bag/box. Then this weekend I will go to a second-hand store for clothes (Plato’s Closet) with my parents and donate my clothes to the store for others to buy.


  1. Try to Use Less to No Garbage in a Day


  1. Whenever I make lunches or snack on something, I will make sure that I’m not bringing or eating anything that comes in individual packaging. For example, instead of eating something like a seaweed packet, I can choose something like an apple or orange.


  1. Don’t Eat Any Dairy Products


  1. Instead of having things like smoothies or a glass of chocolate milk for dessert, I will try to find substitutes that don’t involve dairy. And of course, I still have to get dairy in my daily diet somehow, so maybe I can try almond milk this week


  1. Don’t Waste Any Food at All


  1. This week, to try and not waste any food, I will take very small portions first so that I don’t take more than I can eat. I can do this for lunches at school as well.


The Reflection

Easy Changes


Some of the changes that I had to do for this project were pretty easy. For starters, taking shorter showers was pretty easy because I had set a timer and when I was really focused, I was able to get it done really quickly as well. I also found using less garbage easy because this week my family and I cooked a lot more instead of going out or buying packaged snacks from the store. This made it a lot easier to use less garbage. Thirdly, not eating dairy products was surprisingly easy. I had thought it would be hard, but almond milk doesn’t taste too bad and I didn’t really miss eating dairy products.


Harder Changes

I found that donating my clothes was something that I had a hard time doing. I actually have all the clothes in a bag prepared to be donated, however my parents didn’t have any time to drive me to the second-hand store this week. Secondly, I found not throwing away any food at all a little difficult. Which sounds really bad. I tried the take smaller portions strategy that I thought of earlier, and that worked out really well. I ended up throwing away less than 1/8 of my food which didn’t quite meet my goal of none at all. I found hard to eat all my food because I don’t usually eat full meals, so during long weekends when my whole family is home and eating all together, it was hard to finish all the food with all the full meals that my parents had time to cook. Especially during thanksgiving.


Obstacles I Encountered

Along the way, I encountered some obstacles. One of them was packing lunches, if it was a “normal” weekday, I would’ve thrown anything I could find into my lunch. But because I had to more aware of what I was packing, it was a little harder to make lunches in the morning. I also found that I was eating less because I wasn’t eating dairy products, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I think this was because I wasn’t used to having to eliminate dairy products out of my diet, so I settled for eating less rather than finding a substitute which is probably a problem. Having my parents involved was also a little bit of a challenge. Since donating my clothes to a second-hand store that was a little farther away required my parents driving me there, it was difficult to try and find time for all of us go.


Future Steps

Because of this assignment, I definitely will do things differently in the future. One, I want to take shorter showers like I did this week. It wasn’t that hard to do and if that helps reduce my ecological footprint, then I will gladly try to shorten my showers. Next, I want to go to donate my clothes like I said I would and also try to do so more in the future. This is something that I said I would do, so I want to follow through with what I said. I also think it’s something that would help not only me but also others. Something else that I want to overall in the future is try and be more conscious of my ecological footprint. Previously, I wasn’t really aware of how my actions affected my ecological footprint, so I feel like if I’m more aware of this, I will be able to do a better job of reducing it.