Hey TALONted folks, its been a while, but I am still here. For our most recent project, we were required to identify the impact of our ecological footprints, and try to lessen the number. If you don’t know what an ecological footprint is, do some reading before continuing…
My footprint was surprisingly, small compared to students in my classroom, at only 6.77 hectares. The average on a larger scale is usually between 7-10 hectares per capita (In Canada) although it does vary greatly. In our class, the mean was over ten!
I can still decrease my footprint though, which is what I am working towards. The category which I am not doing so well with, is the amount of water I use in a day. My showers are currently much longer than they need to be (15 minutes), which I could easily shorten to five minutes. I could also start washing more clothes in cold water, instead of always using energy to heat it up. Unfortunately, this probably means that I will have to start sorting even more clothes, to pick out the clothing that isn’t extremely dirty, and could do with a cold cycle.
I also may or may not have the problem, where I am the tallest person in my family, therefore I don’t receive many hand-me-downs, although my sister gets most of my old clothes. I could start sewing some of my own clothes, or at least repair some of the lightly damaged articles. Perhaps I will learn how to darn socks! It also wouldn’t hurt to re-wear some outfits, instead of washing them after every use.
My family is pretty good with recycling and compost etc, but unfortunately our city doesn’t collect plastic bags; there are places that we could go every once in a while, to recycle our plastic bags, even if it was only once a month. We are also NOT very environmentally friendly when it comes to our household cleaner. We often aim to save a few dollars, rather than be kind to the fish. Next time we are at the store, I might be able to convince my mom that phosphate free soap is a much better option.
I also have never really considered not using disposable items such as pens, and cameras. I can’t really change this next one, but each person in my house probably doesn’t need 2.5 rooms, especially if you consider the size of them. Downsizing might be an option, although it’s not one that I currently have much control over. We also don’t have any tenants or roommates occupying rooms in our house, although my grandpa might be moving in this summer…:)
My family also drives quite a bit, considering we have a car for every driving individual that I live with, so perhaps more bussing might be in my future cards.
SURPRISINGLY, I also eat everyday, so that kind of adds to the footprint, but can’t be changed. However; if we ate more organic foods, it might be more beneficial, and not add as many toxic pesticides to our environment. We also, don’t grow any of our own foods. Maybe, we could start a vegetable garden…
Alrighty, I am back… After a month of work, my footprint has improved! The changes that I made were small, but will hopefully have a bit of an impact.
First off, I SUCCEEDED in making a vegetable garden! My family now grows basil, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, although none of these plants have produced any food yet, I assure you they will! Honestly, I love planting veggies, it makes me so happy. When I move out, I might grow all my own organic fruit and vegetables in cute little jars. I’m so excited for the food that I will get to eat, that I raised all on my own. Okay, moving on.
I have also been working on washing more clothes in cold water. Obviously we wash all of the dark coloured clothing in cold water, so that the colours don’t leak, but I have been working on all colours. I have been doing a lot of laundry recently, because my mom keeps forgetting to put it on cold water, but other then that, it’s been fine. I’ve also been hanging a lot more clothing, instead of using the dryer.
I’m still working on the “sew my own clothes” project, as its been a bit harder than expected. I was going to get my grandma to teach me how to darn socks, when she came over, but then she didn’t end up coming because plans changed. She will be visiting in mid June though, so hopefully she will teach me then.
Because we only have four people living in our house, we used to have 2.5 rooms per person, which is a lot. However; it is now confirmed that my grandpa will be living here for six months starting in the summer, which will make it a bit better. When I move out, I will probably do something similar, and live with a room mate for the first part.
Finally, I started taking the bus more often, usually on the way to and from school now. I suppose I better get used to it, considering that it will soon be my only mode of transportation.