After filling out a questionnaire, I found out my ecological footprint is quite high, at 10.07 hectares. This seemed to be quite high as when I compared it to my fellow classmates, my footprint was bigger. Evans footprint was just a bit smaller at 9.35 hectares, while Devon’s footprint was much smaller then mine at 6.75 hectares.
Ten actions that increase the size of my footprint are…
- Taking 3 to 6-minute showers.
- Not using any water saving devices.
- Wearing mostly new clothes.
- Not wearing roughly half the clothes in my closet.
- Creating a relatively large amount of garbage everyday.
- Using a lot of disposable items.
- Using the car as my main transportation method.
- Playing a lot of sports so a lot of land is used for fields and rinks, which I use to play sports.
- Spending a lot of time on a computer/TV.
- Only eating some organic/BC grown food.
5 actions I will do to reduce my footprint and why…
- I will take 1 to 2 minute showers. I will do this because when I shower, I feel like I am just standing there a lot of the time, and I am wasting water and time in the shower. I feel like this is an action I can easily do.
- I will try to produce only enough garbage to fit into 1 cup rather than one shoe box every day. I will do this because I think that I create more waste than necessary. I feel that when I blow my nose I use more tissues then I need, and I could create less waste by using reusable items. I feel like this action could be easily done.
- I will try to use the car less often, and instead walk, run or bike to my nearby destinations. I will do this because I have enough time, so it is not like I am in a hurry, so I can just walk. Also, I feel like I need some more exercise and fresh air anyway. This action should not be to hard during these times anyway, as I am not going anywhere.
- I will spend less time on my computer and in front of my TV. I spend a lot of time on my computer doing homework, but a lot of the time on my TV is unnecessary. I will do this because I feel that I spend to much time in front of screens, and I should do other things like going outside instead. This action will be more difficult in my opinion, because I am quite hooked on some video games, but I believe I can improve this action.
- I will encourage my parents to buy more organic and BC grown food. I will do this because I feel like we need to support local farmers. Also, when my parents go to stores, they do not pay to much attention to what exactly they are buying so I will make them aware and tell them to buy more local and organic food.
How I can improve on these actions…
- When I go in the shower, I will try to be efficient and not waste time. I can try to use a timer for the first couple of times I try this, and then in the future, I will have the routine down and hopefully it will be easy for me to shower in 1 to 2 minutes.
- I will create less waste by trying to be conservative with tissues, etc. When I spill water on the counter, I’ll use a towel to clean it up, rather than tissues of sorts. I will also try to waste less paper, and use more re-usable items to hopefully create only a cup of garbage each day.
- I will use the car less often by walking to places more, and also getting my bike out of the shed, and using it for transportation. Also, right now during these times, I will not really be going to many places, so this action should be easy to improve.
- I will spend less time on my computer and TV, by trying to do my homework on my computer more efficiently and not getting distracted. When I am using electronics for my own leisure, I might set a timer and stop using the electronic when the timer is over.
- I will encourage my parents to buy more organic and local food by making them aware of what they are buying. This way they will most likely think about what they are buying when shopping at grocery stores, and then they might make the choice to buy local and/or organic.
A change that was easy to make for me was reducing my shower time. Setting a timer for the first few times and then getting into the routine of showering quickly really worked for me. I was being more efficient with my time in the shower, which led to me having more time in general. I will definitely continue doing this action. Another change that was easy for me to make, was using the car less often. I have not been going to many places if any at all, so I really did not need to use the car.
A change that was difficult for me to make was reducing my screen time. I had a lot of trouble reducing the time I spent in front of my computer, because homework I had to do for my classes did not really become less. I did have some success in reducing my time in front of the TV though, as I do think I reduced my time playing video games by roughly a quarter.
An obstacle I encountered happened because of COVID-19. When my mom or dad went to the grocery store, they couldn’t always buy organic or BC grown food, as much of the food was out of stock, so the could not always choose what type of food they bought. Also, I had an obstacle when reducing my waste. I few times I produced more then a cup of waste because my cat likes to puke and I had to clean up the puke with paper towels.
In the future I will continue to reduce my ecological footprint. I will continue to have success in reducing my shower time, and I will keep attempting the other actions I chose to improve and perhaps even more.