Discussion: Ecological Footprints
The ecological footprint is a tool for helping us to visualize the impacts we make on the environment. For a brief overview of the concept, please watch this one-minute video The Ecological Footprint Explained prior to beginning work on this discussion, You will take on the challenge of lessening your impacts on the environment, through reducing the size of your ecological footprint.
Use the footprint tool from the web page What is Your Ecological Footprint? to calculate your ecological footprint. At every opportunity, please select the "add details to imporve activity, make a note of how many earths would be required if everyone lived like you. Then click on "see details" to obtain the following information:
Your ecological footprint, in global hectares (a hectare is about two and half acres).
Your top three consumption categories.
Finally research some ways you might reduce your footprint, identifying a few specific ones that you might put into practice throughout the course.
Part B Household Carbon Emissions Footprint
Next use the Carbon Footprint Calculator to calculate your household carbon emissions footprints. After answering all the questions
Make a note of your carbon emissions footprint in pounds. Is that above or below the average household carbon footprint in the US?
Also explore specific actions you might take to reduce your footprint. Which of them might be practical to undertake in the next five weeks?
Part C Water Footprint Calculator to calculate you daily water footprint. After answering all the questions:
Make a note of your gallons per day water footprint
Record the top three contributors to it
Scroll down the page to access a series of Tips buttons you can click on for advice on reducing your footprint. Again make not of some specific ideas you see that might be practical to implement.
Your discussion should include all the information you gathered about your consumption habits from your three footprint calculations by answering the following questions
What did you learn that surprised you about your consumption habits?
Propose a minimum of five lifestyle changes you could make that would reduce one or more of the three footprints. These do not have to be the ones you use in this course-long project. over the course of the discussion you may opt to select other ones based upon classmates' recommendations. You will be recording your final choices for lifestyle changes in your journal at the end of the week.
For each lifestyle change, identify which footprint you would be lowering by doing it. Discuss potential obstacles to making those changes, and then suggest ways you might overcome those obstacles.
The response should include a reference list. Double-space, using Times New Roman 12 pnt font, one-inch margins, and APA style of writing and citations.