My ecological footprint was 10.05 Hecters. After comparing my footprint with the Canadian average and my peers, I realized that my ecological footprint was higher than average.
My ecological footprint: 10.05
Canadian average: 8.5
Peer’s ecological footprints: 8.75 (Emma), 8.8 (Simran), 9.37 (Evan), 6.75 (Devon), 8.2 (Indah), 10.6 (Hailey), 11.9 (David), 9 (Mike)
This is a link to the Ecological Footprint Calculations
10 actions that increased my ecological footprint:
- Taking long showers/baths (10+ minutes)
- Buying brand new clothes
- Using a car to travel with just my family
- Spending more than 1 hour on technology
- Producing lots of garbage (would fill basket)
- Consuming non-organic food
- Owning two cars
- Not using water-saving devices
- Consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
- Consuming meat products
5 actions to reduce my ecological footprint:
- Consuming less dairy products – I usually drink around 3 cups of milk per day. To reduce my dairy consumption, I limited myself to 1 cup of milk per day and tried to eat less dairy in general. I also talked to my parents about having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with less dairy. This meant not eating foods that include dairies such as cereal, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt.
- Consuming fewer meat products – Although I can’t magically change my family into vegetarians, the way I tried to reduce my meat consumptions was by talking to my parents about reducing the use of meat for our lunches and dinners. I am able to control what I eat for my breakfast as I usually make it myself, but my lunch and dinner are fully up to my parents.
- Taking shorter showers/baths – I usually like to store hot water in my bathtub and take long baths. To reduce my ecological footprint, I only took showers and used mildly warm water. Also, I shortened my shower time to around 6 minutes by using a 5-minute hourglass to remind myself that I had to finish my shower.
- Spending less time on technology – Although I have to spend more than 1 hour a day on school work, I realized that I also spend lots of unnecessary time on my technology such as gaming. To reduce the time spent on my laptop, I deleted most of my games and used a 1-hour timer to limit myself from using my technology unnecessarily. This has helped me become more efficient and productive while doing school work.
- Producing less garbage – Although I couldn’t really change how much garbage my family produces, I tried reducing the amount of garbage I produce daily by buying a mini garbage can for my room. Using my own garbage can helped me track how much garbage I produce and make the necessary changes. The way I reduced the amount of garbage produced was by using less unnecessary items such as paper, tissues, and food packaging.
Out of all the changes I made, the easiest ones to make were taking shorter showers/baths and producing less garbage. The hourglass made it easy for me to know when I had to get out, and not taking any baths in general saved lots of water. This is also very useful in real life, as it will probably lower the water bill. Producing less garbage was also very simple. I tried to eat snacks that didn’t have any plastic wrappers such as fruits and nuts and made sure to not leave any leftovers. I also stopped using paper and used my laptop instead.
Some of the changes that were more difficult for me to make were reducing the amount of dairy and meat products and spending less time on technology. I was able to make a little bit of progress on not consuming as much dairy, but with meat products, I wasn’t able to stop my parents from using them (although I did try to ask them to try and use less meat for our dinners). Spending less time on technology was a difficult task. Since I had so much free time, my brain automatically wanted me to go on my laptop. It was very hard to resist the urge to play games, and I must say that I didn’t achieve using my laptop for less than 1 hour.
An obstacle I encountered while making the changes was not being able to change my diet because of the pandemic. One example would be trying to consume less meat and dairy. Because of the recent pandemic, we had to eat what we had in our home, and the options were limited in stores. This lead to my parents making dinners that included dairy and meat, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
In the future, I hope to remeber and keep many of the changes I made. I think using my technology less will help me become or productive and efficient, and taking shorter showers will help reduce the water bill (and save water). I realised which techniques work well and techniques I can revise and change. Overall, I think this project has really opened my eyes on how everything I do affects my ecological footprint.