My original ecological footprint score was 3.74 hectares. Compared to Jian’s score, 2.37, I have a relatively high score. However, compared to Kate’s score, 7.2, my score seems pretty low. I feel that I had a pretty average score, perhaps a bit on the lower end. My score was also influenced by the activities I did the weekend I recorded; I recorded my activity during the Juan De Fuca overnight practice hike, so I didn’t have the same resources as I usually would. This likely influenced my score noticeably.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I do that increase the size of my footprint. I’ve noticed and have been trying to reduce my:
- Use of single use plastic products
- Use of single use cotton/ paper products
- Long showers
- Consumption of meat (especially red meat such as beef)
- Driving to school up to 3 times a week
- Wearing mostly first-hand clothing
- Eating food with individual packaging
- Use of public transport for short distances
- Getting food delivery (lots of packaging + transportation)
Although I’ve been trying to reduce my footprint as much as possible, I’ve focused on reducing my:
- Use of first-hand clothing – second hand clothing is both low cost and reduces waste. I’ve been trying to shop at second hand shop like Value Village and also donate my clothing when possible.
- Shower time – reducing my time in the shower is an easy way to influence my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to keep my showers to about 5-7 minutes.
- Consumption of meat – meat, especially red meat influenced my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to use vegetarian or vegan alternatives or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle.
- Use of car for transportation – I can avoid driving to school easily by waking up early or packing up the night before. I’ve been trying to be more organized with getting ready in the morning in order to walk to school more.
- Use of single use plastic products – I can easily reduce my use of single use plastic products by using reusable or compostable alternatives, or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle. I’ve been investing in reusable water bottles, cups, straws, and other necessities in order to reduce my plastic consumption.
At first, I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to reduce my ecological footprint. However, I realized that I could make major changes in my footprint by making minor changes in my life. Buying second-hand clothing, taking shorter showers, and walking to school more. I realized that although it may seem daunting, reducing my footprint wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
Probably the hardest change to make was reducing my meat consumption, which I’m still working on. Although I haven’t stopped my intake of meat entirely, I’ve been consciously trying to eat other alternatives when possible. However, its difficult to change this, since it’s a big part of my lifestyle. Recently, I’ve just been looking for an alternative whenever possible, but I hope to reduce my consumption more as time goes on.
It was also difficult to reduce my plastic use since many companies use lots of plastic or foil in their packaging. But I’ve been trying to combat this my simply trying brands with less packaging, or using my own alternative.
In the future, I’m hoping to continue what I’ve started and also reduce my footprint further by:
- Further reducing my intake of meat
- Walking to school virtually every day
- Buying the majority of my new clothing second-hand
- Using more alternatives to single use products
I’m really passionate about reducing my footprint and I know that preserving the planet is a crucial and pressing matter. I’m happy with the work I’ve done so far, but I’m also hoping to improve greatly in the near future.