Ecological Footprint: Lab When I Thesis

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Would it be better if no one had an SUV to take into the woods to go camping, to learn about the importance of the environment? Surely, learning about the environment is a way to spur people on, especially the next generation, to want to help the planet.

Meat is also penalized very heavily, but the source of the meat, whether it is grain-fed or pasture-raised, is not taken into a consideration. Non-meat processed foods can still travel a long distance and have an impact on the environment. However, I should note that my eating habits were the worst offenses on my ecological footprint scorecard, and even though I do not agree with all of the calculations, doing the footprint analysis was an important wake-up call for me in terms of how I view myself and my food choices in relationship to the environment.

When comparing my results with my colleagues, food was definitely one of the worst problems for all of us, particularly for me. We agreed this is partially a result of being students, as we often eat on the run, and eat food that is processed, contains meat, and is not prepared in a sustainable manner. Eating more locally-grown food grown on farms rather than in an industrial fashion would be one way for all of us to reduce are carbon footprint. Eating less processed food would result in smaller amounts of physical waste being strewn all over the planet and cooking more at home would mean lower environmental transportation costs as we would use less fuel driving to restaurants.
Of course, recycling all products that can be recycled is a plus. Using rags instead of paper towels to clean, reusing containers as Tupperware, rather than buying new ones, are small ways to reduce trash in the environment. Recycling other goods is possible as well -- going to yard sales, buying a used, small, fuel-efficient vehicle rather than a new car, giving services rather than physical goods gifts (such as personal training sessions rather than new clothing, for example), and limiting the amount of personal and home upgrades of big televisions and technological items will reduce waste. When you must upgrade your computer system or cell phone, the old items should be recycled or given away to someone who needs them.

There is still a tension -- what is better, an old, fuel-inefficient Jeep or a new Prius? Should we use our old light bulbs until they blow out, or buying all new energy-efficient light bulbs? Even going green has an immediate cost, although one which will hopefully balance out sooner than later. Still, trying to find the best way to live a sustainable life, and live in an imperfect world remains a challenge.

Works Cited

Ecological footprint. (2009). Ecological Footprint. Retrieved March 20, 2009 at

Footprint Basics - Overview. (2009, February 27). Footprint Network.

Retrieved March 20, 2009 at

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