I calculated my ecological footprint at 10.04 hectares, which I thought was very high but after comparing with Valerie, who had a footprint of 14.75, and Yunmin, who had a footprint of 13.85, I realized that my footprint wasn’t as large as I thought it was. The ten largess factors in my ecological footprint are:
- Sharing a vacation home with another family
- Buying new clothes
- Using disposable items
- Using two cars
- Using technology for more than two hours a day
- consuming dairy products
- eating non organic meat regularly
- Using some equipment for my activities
- doing my activities on a large area of developed land
- eating food imported from outside of B.C.
Quite a few of these actions can be changed with relative ease, and the actions that I am choosing to change are:
1/2: eating local and organic food. Eating organic food is relatively easy and the only inconvenience is that it costs me more money. Eating local food is a bit more of a challenge, as a lot of the food that I like to eat is not grown in B.C. at this time of year, but I can change what I eat to match what local foods are in season.
3. Buying used clothes: although I prefer buying new clothes, there are a lot of good used clothes available at secondhand stores, and since summer is approaching, I will probably be buying more clothes soon, and it is cheaper and more ethical to buy used clothes.
4. Trying to avoid using disposable items. I don’t usually think before I use disposable items, but there are many ways that I can cut disposable items such as pens and cameras out of my lifestyle. I can very easily use my phone to take pictures and use pencils instead of pens, as they are recyclable.
5. Using technology (TV, computer, etc.) for a smaller time each day. I am well aware of the fact that I drastically overuse technology, and I think that although it will be tough, I could greatly benefit from spending more time doing other activities.
After trying to implement these changes for the past week and a half, I can say that I have had a lot of success with these changes. It didn’t take a lot of prodding to convince my parents to buy organic fruits, vegetables, and meats, but they did groan over the slightly higher prices. I was also able to buy more local food, although not everything was in season so I still had to buy some imported food. I haven’t gone clothes shopping yet, so I haven’t yet been able to implement a change in where I get my clothes from, but when I do get new clothes, I will definitely go to a secondhand store. Finally, the toughest chang was using my technology less. Thankfully, except for a couple of days, we have had phenomenal weather, so most days, instead of staying inside and watching tv, I went outside and played soccer with my friends, or went on walks around the community.