My environmental footprint was 6.75 Hectares, which, when compared to my classmates, is definitely below average. However, it is still significantly larger than I expected.
10 actions that currently increase the size of my footprint are:
- Buying firsthand clothing. Because I’m the oldest child in my family, and the oldest male grandchild on my mom’s side (My dad’s side is mostly in Alberta and Quebec), I normally end up purchasing clothing first hand, because there’s no one in my size who could donate clothing to me. However, most of my old clothing has been used by my brother and then either given to family friends, or random people who need that size of clothing that my mom meets through work (she’s a postal worker, so she meets a lot of people daily; not so much right now though), so they definitely don’t go to waste.
- Bathing for a long time. Not much else to say here, I have a bad habit of showering for too long that definitely needs to get fixed anyways.
- Spending lots of time online. Although a decent impact on my environmental footprint, it’s mainly used for productive uses or to keep in touch with friends.
- I spend a lot of time in the car carpooling or using public transport (usually), but that’s mainly to get to and back from school and climbing. Not so much these days though.
- Lack of organic food. My family just doesn’t get organic food.
- Not usually food grown in B.C. My family doesn’t usually get food grown in B.C.
- Drive in a four-door car. We own a four door minivan because there’s four of us in the family, and the trunk space/extra seats comes in handy for giving rides and fitting groceries or supplies like chairs for watching soccer.
- I eat decent amount of beef. I’m not currently on any altered diets, so I eat a regular amount of beef (roughly 2 meals a week).
- I eat a decent amount of dairy. I’m not lactose intolerant, so most days of the week I have some form of dairy, be it either in the form of cheese in my sandwich, yogurt with my lunch, or milk in my cereal.
- I eat non-free-range eggs. I don’t eggs too much, but when I do it’s either eggs at breakfast or in some sort of pastry (pancakes, pie, etc.).
5 Ways to remedy those actions.
- Non-organic food: We’re starting our own garden, and all the plants grown in it are going to be organic. As for meats, they’re hard to find right now so we kind of need to take what we can get. I chose this one because we’ve already bought plants and we’re starting our own garden, so I figured it would be an easy way to lower my ecological footprint.
- Grown in B.C.: We’re starting our own garden. I chose this one for the same reason as #1, because it’ll be an easy but good way to lower my footprint.
- Bathing for a long time: I don’t fill the bathtub super full (about halfway maximum), but I tend to lose track of time in the shower. To remedy this, I can set a timer when I get into the shower, and when the timer goes off, I finish up if I’m not done, or I get out if I am. I chose this one because I needed to do this anyways, taking long showers doesn’t help anyone, and it’s a good way to cut down my ecological footprint.
- Eating dairy regularly: I can try to cut down on my dairy intake to no more than two cups a week. Most of my family is some degree of lactose intolerant, so now is as good a time as any to get used to not eating a lot of dairy, especially because it would make for less groceries for my mom to buy.
- I usually eat a decent amount of beef, so I’ll try not to have any more than one meal a week with beef. This shouldn’t be too hard to achieve, because of how hard it is to find beef these days.
Changes that were easy to make:
Surprisingly enough, taking showers was as simple as playing music while I’m in the shower and stopping after the song ended, which gives me a window of time to shower. By choosing song’s I know, I intuitively know when the song is almost over and start wrapping up.
Changes that were difficult to make:
Cutting down on my dairy and beef consumption was harder than expected, mainly because whenever we have beef I usually eat the leftovers the next day in my lunch, which would then double the amount of beef I’m having. I ended up just sacrificing the beef to my brother and dad, and finding different foods to eat. Dairy was hard just because of the crazy amount of foods I normally consume with dairy in them that don’t even mentally register as dairy. For example, I didn’t even think of the cheese I eat at lunch in my sandwich as dairy, or the milk in the pie’s I made with my mom, and the list can go on for quite a bit longer.
Obstacles: The vegetable garden is going to take a lot longer than expected. In the mean time, I’ve asked my parents to get organic and grown in B.C. foods, but in the future it’ll definitely be easier.
Future Steps: Finish the garden, ask my parents to get dairy alternatives, and find a replacement for beef.