Reduce Your Ecological Footprint sample essay
You may not realize it, but having a large ecological footprint can cause a vast effect on our earth. We may not see an immediate affect but slowly we are becoming the big reason for the earth’s loss of natural resources. The ecological footprint measures human impact on the earth. The ecological footprint calculates how much land and water area we use. This includes the areas for producing the resources we consume, the space for our buildings and roads, and for its waste such as carbon dioxide. It’s calculated by your use of housing, goods and services, carbon and food.
Your ecological footprint also tracks the supply of natural resources remaining; it shows how much productive area is available to provide your goods and services. This is the point where the earth is today; in an overshoot. Where the population uses of the environment exceeds the carrying capacity. Our demand for natural resources overdoes the supply of the earth. To sustain our resource consumption rate at what we have today, we would need more than one planet! It is important for society to work towards reducing our Ecological Footprint because if we run out of all our natural resources like oil, what will happen in the future?
Can you imagine a world without oil to run our cars? We may not notice that were running out but think about it, why are gas prices going up? Because, the oil is running out and one day we will eventually run out and we have to learn to deal with it because then there’s nothing we could do about it, but right now; we can, so why don’t we. It’s not easy to make changes your lifestyle, but little changes an make a big difference. Taking a car to school/work also releases a great amount of carbon when all added up and can cause climate change in the future.
Each car, on average produces 20 pounds of CO2 for every gallon of gas consumed. That’s roughly 5 to 9 tons of CO2 each year for a typical vehicle. Not to worry, there are simple solutions! Choosing a car with better gas mileage, using a low-carbon fuel, such as ethanol or CNG, combining trips when possible (also saves time and money). If you want to start with something even simpler, take a bus, bike, or walk and most of all don’t idle! Second reason why you’re ecological footprint is probably large is because of our water use. An average person uses about 123 gallons (466 liters) of water daily!
Showering uses 15-30 gallons (57-114 liters), dishwashers use 9-12 gallons (34-45 liters) and washing machines have a huge impact on the amount of water you use. Unnecessary use of sprinklers or hosepipes, leaving the tap running while we brush our teeth or shaving can add up to a large amount of water use. Some easy solutions would be to only turn on the laundry or dishwasher with a full load, turn off taps while brushing teeth or shaving, fix leaking taps and reduce water use in general by using less, you can save money and lessen the impact of shortage in our environment.
You waste about 1-2 gallons of water when you leave the tap on while brushing your teeth, so turn it off and waste none! And if you want to take it a step forward you can buy water saving toilets. Another reason why you’re ecological footprint is big could be because of your food consumption. We waste approximately 40 per cent of our food, or $27-billion worth, most of that is coming from loading our plates with giant portions that we can’t finish or throwing our food based on best-before labels, even if the food is still good.
Your ecological footprint can even be large if you’re buying packaged and processed products because they take extra energy and water to produce which ends with being a big part of your ecological footprint instead of the people who make it. We import more than half of the food we consume and all that carbon that gets released into the air is calculated into your ecological footprint. We think food is cheap and it’ll be easier to buy more of it. There are easy solutions for saving food like buying locally produced organic food, growing vegetables, eating vegetarian meals more often.
Eat less beef, pork, and lamb, producing 1 pound of beef uses up 29 times more water than 1 pound of chicken and three liters of oil. Eat out at restaurants less; 30-40% of all food at restaurants is never eaten. Eat fewer dairy products, together with meat; dairy products are responsible for emissions such as CO2, nitrous oxides and methane which are all big factors in global warming. Eat fewer packaged snacks and junk food, the boxes, bags and packets that hold our food account for 10-12% of the cost of our food products. More than half of all plastic packaging is used to package food.
You may not realize it but energy use is probably one of the things that have huge impacts on your ecological footprint. Canadians use about 51. 50 kwh of electricity per day which leaves us ranking 3rdworld wide in terms of energy use. Simple things like leaving lights on, drying clothes without a full load, water heating, and leaving other appliances on can add up! Water heating account to 15% of home energy, a hair dryer uses 1000 watts, showering with hot water uses 4000 watts, and refrigeration/air-condition uses 1000 watts. No one would want to cut off all their energy but instead would reduce their energy use.
Easy things like turning off computers and TV’s when not in use, keeping thermostat low, keep heater low and wear sweaters if cold, keep air conditioning low and wear summer clothes if hot, and finally buy energy efficient appliance. The final thing that contributes to you having a large ecological footprint is waste disposal. Things like not recycling, upgrading to the newest technology, buying more product than you need, printing papers that you don’t need, not using both sides of paper, not using recycled paper, throwing away cellphones, and not composting can obviously be a huge part of your ecological footprint.
Solutions like buying less and replacing items only when you really need to, Recycling all your paper, glass, aluminum, plastic and electronics, composting food waste for the garden, and not buy bottled water if you have drinkable tap water can help you big time if you want to reduce your ecological footprint. Our global situation is not what we think, exceeding carrying capacity and being at an overshoot is not okay and it impacts us even if we don’t see the effects immediately! The problems are simple and so are the solutions.
If we don’t start making changes now, we’ll eventually run out of time and be forced to live without things like food, water and energy. There is no technological solution to save us this time; we can only solve the environment problems by changing the way we live. If we simply use the solutions, it will help us in the future and one person can make a big difference so trying out some of these solutions can help you and save you a lot of money. We have the time now and there’s nothing stopping us but ourselves. We can be the big change if we want to be, all we need is commitment and others help to work together.
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