Calculation of your footprint:

 

My ecological footprint is 7.05 hectares.

 

Comparison of your footprint to those of others:

 

Compared to Jerome’s footprint (8.35), Kevin’s footprint (7.05), Kimi’s footprint (12.45), and Yoonha’s footprint (7.35), I am tied for the smallest ecological footprint. Kevin and I both have a footprint of 7.05, and I feel like a main reason why my footprint is not very high is because I am a vegetarian, and I saved myself from so many points because I don’t eat meat.

 

10 actions that currently increase my footprint:

 

  • I take 3-6 minute showers rather than 1-2 minutes

 

  • Quite a few of my clothes are bought brand new for me

 

  • I tend to wear some of my clothes more than others

 

  • I spend quite some time travelling in the car

 

  • I flush the toilet every time

 

  • I spend over an hour on my computer everyday

 

  • My family owns a medium sized car

 

  • Creating garbage from plastic items.

 

  • Not composting all of my food waste

 

  • Not making attempts to avoid disposable items

 

5 actions that I will try to change to reduce my footprint:

 

  • Wear more of my clothing, and not particularly favour clothes that I like more. Currently I tend to wear clothes that I like more than clothes I don’t like, which means that some of my clothes aren’t worn very much while others are worn more often.

 

  • Leave the ‘yellow mellow’, because right now I flush the toilet everytime and it takes literally no effort to just not flush after you do your business. It’s an easy way to reduce some of your footprint, and doesn’t require much at all.

 

  • Compost all of my food waste. Although I do currently compost my waste, I don’t compost 100% of it. Sometimes if there isn’t a compost nearby I tend to throw waste like apple cores and orange peels into the trash can. I will try to avoid this and aim for the compost bin more often, and not throw food scraps into the garbage.

 

  • Take shorter showers. Currently I take showers that are 3-6 minutes, and I can reduce my ecological footprint by cutting the time down to 1-2 minutes. It won’t be too hard to shower a minute or two less, and it all adds up. A minute less of showering added up over a few months saves LOTS of water. I just have to resist the temptation of showering an extra minute, and forcing myself to save more time.

 

  • Avoid disposable items. In the present day, I don’t tend to steer clear of disposable waste 100% of the time, although I do avoid it sometimes. If I start to avoid items like plastic bags, and start using reusable containers 100% of the time, I can have almost no garbage at all! Right now all my garbage fits inside of a cup, but if I’m more vigilant about not using disposable items that create waste, I can cut my waste down by a lot more- to the point of having virtually no garbage!

 

The Reflection:

 

After about a week of trying to reduce my footprint, there were some changes that were harder to make, and some changes that were easier. An example is not flushing the toilet every time, and leaving the ‘yellow mellow’. This change was easy to make because it literally required no extra work. Another change that was easy to make was eating more organic fruit and food. My family generally likes to buy organic food, so buying a little more organic food and less non-organic food wasn’t too difficult. On the other hand, I did encounter problems that were difficult. A change that was a little harder to make was to shower in water that isn’t as warm as the water I usually showered in, and to shower for a shorter amount of time. Over the course of the last few days, I slowly use a little colder water every time, and I also try to shower for a shorter amount of time. It takes quite a bit of mental strength to resist the urge to turn the water a little hotter, and to shower for just an extra minute. Another change that was also a little tough was composting all my food waste. There are many times where I have items like an orange peel or an apple core, but I try to resist the urge to throw it into the wide, gaping, hungry mouth of a trash can. I hold on to these items for a little while until I come across a compost bin/can. Then I throw my food waste in there, rather than creating more trash. There have also been changes that are neither tough and not easy either. For example, wearing clothes I usually don’t wear. I dug out some clothes I tended not to wear, and over the past week I wore them, just so I could utilize more of my clothes. I must admit, some of the clothes weren’t too comfortable, or just didn’t suit me, but I still wore them anyways on days like the weekend.

 

Some obstacles I encountered over the course of implementing my goals were the fact that organic food costs a lot of money, whereas non-organic food doesn’t cost as much. Another obstacle is that taking public transit or walking takes a lot more time whereas taking the car is a lot faster. For most of our shopping for the Stein Valley hiking trip, Jerome and I opted to walk to the grocery stores and buy our food rather than using a vehicle. Although it took a lot longer, it was worth it in the end because at least we helped the environment! In the future I plan to decrease the time I spend in my car by even more, and to take showers that are shorter and more environmentally-efficient. I also plan on avoiding disposable items, because although I try to avoid them right now, I still end up using them from time to time.