What I Learnt About My Ecological Footprint
I recently took an ecological footprint quiz to see how big my footprint really was. Thinking that it would be pretty low compared to others as we recycle a lot and are environmentally conscious. Did I get a wake up call! Despite the fact that we recycle, have less than one garbage bin a week, compost, have compact fluorescent bulbs, energy efficient appliances and turn things off when not using them, we are still using a lot of resources.
The purpose of calculating your footprint is to measure humanity’s demand on nature and to see how much ’nature’ our lifestyle requires. I went to myfootprint.org and took the 27 question quiz. It measures your carbon footprint, food footprint, housing footprint and goods and services footprint. The result was that if everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need six earths to sustain us! Six! Certainly not what I was expecting! After hanging my head in shame for a few moments, I vowed that I would change that!
Now where to start? Luckily they provide you with lots of ways to reduce your footprint from transportation, housing to food. Based on those suggestions, I vow to start doing the following:
– buying more of my food local and take advantage of the farmer’s market before winter comes. I’m also going to try making some dried mangos in the oven instead of buying them pre-packaged at the grocery store (I’ll write about that outcome on my blog);
– look into adding more insulation to the attic and caulking around windows;
– turning off the computer at night;
– drying clothes outside when possible (okay, now is not the best time to make that vow as the rainy season is starting in Vancouver but I will do it when I can);
– try going meatless for one meal a week;
– use less water;
– drive less on days off.
There are many things that I didn’t add to that list that we are doing already such as keeping the thermostat low in the winter, having water saving fixtures, using biodegradable non-toxic cleaning products and choosing foods with less packaging.
What is your ecological footprint? What kind of things are you already doing and what do you vow to do differently?