Reducing Ecological Footprint Through Lifestyle Changes Essay

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Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Our Ecological Footprint

Biology And Life

Ecological footprint is one method that can be used to measure how our individual lifestyle affects the planet including the people and animals living here. The lifestyle choices that each individual makes can affect the quality of our environment in a huge way. The more resources each individual consumes, the larger their ecological footprint thus leaving little for everyone else (Sustainable Communities Initiative, 2014). Each individual should strive for a smaller ecological footprint, which will make life better for everyone in the world. One's ecological footprint is divided into four categories. These are food, travel, home, and stuff that they purchase. There are lifestyle changes in each category that a person can make to reduce their ecological footprint (WWF-Australia, 2014).


To reduce my ecological footprint, I choose to use tap water and run it through a filter to purify it in order to reduce waste that I generate. Each bottle of tap water that I purchase means I will dispose of one plastic bottle made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. By reducing my PET waste, I will significantly reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted as a result of my activities since for each kilogram of PET that I save, I will save 40g of hydrocarbons, 25g of sulfur oxides, 20g of nitrogen oxides, 18g of carbon monoxide, and 2.3kg of carbon dioxide. Even though some may argue that PET bottles are recyclable, it is known for a fact that out of 9 in every 10 PET bottles sold in the U.S. each year end up in the trash cans.

When purchasing food items, I will bring my own bag to reduce use of plastic bags that are not biodegradable. They photo degrade meaning they breakdown into smaller bits that are toxic. Plastic bags that are discarded into water sources also cause thousands of marine animals to die. Therefore, using a reusable bag to carry purchased items from the supermarket or food store means I will greatly reduce my ecological footprint.
To reduce my ecological footprint, I will also change my eating habits to purchase local foods grown from local farms and to eat those that are in season. It is estimated that foods travel about 1,000 to 2,500 miles from pasture to the plate. Therefore, by sourcing foods locally, I will reduce my ecological footprint since I will reduce the distance that farmers have to travel to sell their foods by fostering local consumption. I also plan to eat more in locally owned cafes and restaurants whose business model is to support local farmers by sourcing from them rather than using larger chains that create a larger ecological footprint.

In my house, I will also reduce my ecological footprint by planting a small organic garden. An organic garden the size of a flowerbed stores carbon in the soil equivalent to getting 100 cars off the road. Therefore, if I can get 10,000 people to plant such organic gardens, we can store carbon in the soil equal to getting about 1,000,000 cars off the road. Though these numbers seem large for a small farm, the benefits come from various aspects. First is that as a result of growing my own food, I will reduce the trips I have to make to purchase food. Secondly, I will be able to make my own compost pile from leftovers and other waste in the garden to make the soil richer. Third, plants use carbon dioxide in the air thus reducing the amount in the air.


As part of my lifestyle changes to reduce my ecological footprint, I commit to walk, bike, or carpool whenever possible. On average, in the U.S., 40% of trips that people take can be replaced with walking, which is healthier by reducing the risk of obesity, and saves gas. Walking also reduces my ecological footprint by….....

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