Ecological Footprint Assingment

  1. For my footprint, I got 8.85 hectares.
  2. I compared my number to my classmates and found that it was all very close. Most people had gotten around 6.5-9 hectares.  
  3. Some things that definitely increase the size of my footprint is: 
    1. The amount of times we water the garden 
    2. We buy our clothes most, if not all, brand new 
    3. We don’t wear a lot of our clothes.
    4. How much time we spend in the family car/usage of the family car 
    5. How much time we spend using computers and T.V. for fun 
    6. We don’t use water saving devices in our household 
    7. Not all of our cleaners are environmentally friendly 
    8. I don’t know if any, but I don’t think we own energy conserving light bulbs.
    9. We own a bigger car and smaller car, both used quite often 
    10. We throw away ¼ of our food.

       4. 5 of these that I could work on to reduce my footprint are: 

    1. Buying some clothes second hand. I chose this because we generally buy all of our clothes brand new, when we don’t actually need to. It’s quite a common problem but easily fixable.  
    1. We could cut down on the time spent on T.V. and computers. I chose this because it’s also another really simple thing to fix but is probably the biggest contributor to my ecological footprint.  
    1. We could wear more of the clothes we have or donate some of the clothes we never wear. I chose this because it’s something that we already do, but I think we could do better or more efficiently 
    1. Instead of throwing out the rest of our uneaten food, we could eat the leftoversI picked this because wasting food unless its expired, is unreasonable. It’s something that bothers me and would be decently simple to fix. 
    1. Spending less time in our cars. I chose this because a solution is easily accessible. Places we need to go are normally walking or biking distance so it’s definitely something I could integrate into my daily life.  

         5. Some of the changes we could make are: 

    1. There are thrift stores near my house that we could easily buy quality items from and save money. Of course, I wouldn’t buy clothes there unless I need it but it’s a better alternative.  
    1. Although technology is necessary for the current COVID situation, we could find other things to entertain ourselves more often than technology. For example, more frequent walks or board games. Family time is a good substitute.  
    1. Sometimes we have those couple items in our closets we never touch, and they stay there for months. Instead of having pieces of clothing we never wear, we could donate it, which also makes sure it stays out of landfills.  
    1. We could make sure the portions we make are correct, and make sure we keep up to date on a bidaily basis on what food we have in the fridge. This way we aren’t wasting any food unreasonably.  
    1. We could walk to the places that are within a reasonable distance and start biking more to places. Driving might be convenient, but biking and walking is a more ecologically friendly and better for our health anyways 

 

The reflection 

 

  1. Some of the easier changes to make were the ones like spending less time on the computer and technology and walking to more places than using the car. Since we didn’t spend much time leaving the house anyways, all the places we needed to go were within walking distance. I live close to a strip mall, making it easy to go quickly to the store for necessities. As for spending less time on the computer, it was easy to implement more family time. Occasionally we would have dinner together or have our bedtimes set earlier so that it also cuts down on computer and T.V time. 
  2. Some changes that were difficult to make were the changes regarding clothing. Honestly, there weren’t many changes we could make. Since we had recently thrown out clothes we didn’t want and donated them, we couldn’t really do it again. And, since we weren’t leaving the house often, it didn’t make sense to wear clothes we wouldn’t wear in the comfort of our house. So, it was difficult making use of as much as we could. Something positive that came from this though is how we weren’t doing as much laundry because we would re-wear clothes more than oftenAt least one change did come from this situation.  
  3. Obstacles that I encountered were sometimes we went places where we needed the car for a while. This was something we couldn’t bypass, as a car was necessary for wherever we were going sometimes because of the distance. Another obstacle was having self-discipline. Sometimes it was hard restraining from staying on the computer too long, and it was difficult to tell myself to go to sleep, or take a break, but sometimes I’d have the will power to take the much needed break. 
  4. The next steps would be to continue to integrate these strategies into the future. Due to current circumstances it becomes a bit difficult, but when things go back to normal, I hope to implement these strategies more.