My ecological footprint came out to 7.45 hectares after I used the Ecological Footprint Calculator. I then did some research and found that Canada’s average ecological footprint per capita is 8.18 hectares, which means that my ecological footprint is 0.73 hectares below Canada’s average.
Some of the things that currently drastically increase the size of my footprint are:
- flushing the toilet every time I use it
- Taking 10+ minute showers
- Not using a water saving device or toilet
- Not washing my clothes in cold water
- Having brand new clothes
- Having a large house for a relatively small family
- Traveling with just my family in a car
- Having a medium sized car
- Spending more than an hour using technology
- Eating dairy products
Some things I can do to have a smaller ecological footprint are:
- Not buying as much new clothing and trying to use more second-hand clothes to save clothing materials.
- Reduce my shower length to 3-6 minutes by making sure to wash quickly and keep an eye on the time to reduce water consumption.
- Take more public transit and use my bike more instead of traveling in the car to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
- Cut down on technology time by doing more outdoor activities to reduce electricity consumption.
- Washing my clothes in cold water to save water.
A change that was easy for me was not buying new clothes and using second hand clothes. This was easy because I have a lot of relatives that had clothes that they could give me. Another thing that was easy to change was using more public transit and alternate forms of transportation. This was an easy change because I spent a lot of time bussing home from school instead of getting picked up. Also, the weather was extremely nice this month and gave me a chance to use my bike or longboard to get around.
Some things that were difficult for me to change was taking shorter showers because I was used to taking long showers and kept losing track of time due to there being no clock in the shower. Another difficulty was cutting down on screen time because, as we all know, we live in a digital age, and I rely on my computer to finish my homework, my phone for communication and other devices for entertainment. It was also hard to try to wash all my clothes in cold water because my family and I share loads, and most of the time, another family member needs the water to be either warm or hot.
Obstacles like my family washing machine needs and no clock in the shower got in the way of me reaching my goal. However, I have noticed that some things are easy to change, like using second-hand clothes and using alternate transportation methods, and therefore I will continue doing those things. I am also determined to try to cut down on my shower length because one of my highest scoring areas on the Ecological Footprint Calculator was the “Water Use” section, specifically because of my shower length.