As an introduction to our environmental science unit, we were tasked with calculating our ecological footprint, then identifying which actions contributed to our footprint the most, changing 5 aspects of our daily life, and re-calculating our ecological footprint after two weeks to see how much of a difference our changes made. Below you can find the link to an infographic I made to organize the data I collected from this project:
What changes were easy for you to make and why?
I found my dietary-related changes easiest to make, since I had already cut red meat from my diet and was familiar with a wide variety of protein alternatives. In addition, it was an easy switch from cow’s milk to almond milk for me since my mom prefers almond milk over cow’s milk, so we already had quite a bit of almond milk in our fridge. Finally, controlling the portion sizes for my meals was quite easy, as after doing so it was much easier for me to finish all the food on my plate without stuffing myself.
What changes were difficult for you to make and why?
The most difficult change for me to make was controlling the amount of time I spent in the shower. I enjoyed taking my time in the shower and at first it was quite hard for me to fit the 6-minute time limit I’d set for myself. This was because I liked to shower after I got out of bed early in the morning to wake myself up, so it was more difficult to move quickly when I was still sleepy. I did get used to a shorter shower time eventually, and managed to fit my showers within 6 minutes.
Describe some of the obstacles you encountered.
The main obstacle I encountered was remembering to turn the lights off after I left a room. I’m not quite sure why, but I was very forgetful when it came to this aspect of the project. Much like the difficulty I encountered when shortening my shower time, I eventually overcame this challenge simply through repetition and growing a habit. I also put a sticky note on my door that reminded me to turn off the lights in my room before I left it for a long period of time.
Describe the steps you plan to take in the future.
In the future, I plan to keep the habits I picked up in the past two weeks to maintain a lower ecological footprint. I am also thinking of transitioning into a vegetarian diet, and once the pandemic is over I will shop at thrift stores when I need new clothes instead of shopping first hand.