Dylan Poon

"Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you"


Ecological Footprint

The Plan:

After I completed the ecological footprint calculation sheet, I came up with 9.7 hectares. Compared to others I believe mine is about average, since Sarah got 14.85 and Yoonha got 7.35. Once I had gone through and thoroughly looked at the questions, I learned quite a few new things I could do to reduce my footprint, most of which I had never heard of before. The ten things I do include:

  1.  Eating food from other places rather than local
  2.  Eating non-organic food
  3.  Taking a car everyday
  4.  Using products that use lots of wrappings or produce garbage
  5.  Take a long shower
  6.  Keep the fridge door closed
  7.  Using heating
  8.  Use all of my clothing
  9.  Using warm water
  10.  Spending time on the computer

Of these, I will be limiting five of them in the next week, including:

  1.  Trying to only use cold water
  2.  Taking shorter 2 – 3 minute showers
  3.  Wearing a sweater if cold
  4.  Reducing my disposable waste
  5.  Spending less time on a PC

Regarding the first two, the water we use everyday can easily be limited to reduce one’s footprint. By using much less water that will not require heating, I will not only be using less of our resource, but using less electricity that is being used to heat the water. During the week, I will be showering, washing my hands, brushing my teeth, and any doing other things that use water, using only cold water in the least amount of time possible. Similarly, heating takes quite a bit of power, so instead of turning up the temperature, I can use a sweater, layers or a blanket to stay warm inside. Since I already have layers, sweaters and blankets, I can easily make a long lasting change whenever I need to regulate my temperature. One of my biggest outputs of increasing my footprint is having garbage, such as plastic bags that may not be easily recycled or good for the environment, so I want to reduce my disposable output by as much as I can. By avoiding wrapped goods and paper or disposable cups from whatever I may purchase, I can substantially reduce this. Lastly, I can spend less time on a computer, which uses up electricity, and highly impacts my footprint. Some ways to reduce this are spending less time on it, letting it discharge completely to not only conserve energy, but keeping the battery functional for as long as possible.

The Reflection:

After one week trying to follow the standards that I had set to manage my ecological footprint better, I have found that some were easier and harder than others. Controlling the two water limits was a bit challenging, as occasionally I would lose track of time, and  end up going back to my old habits, and catching the mistake when it was too late, however, on Thursday, I placed a 3 minute shower timer in my bathroom, and remembered to set it every time I showered. The other issue with water limits was forgetting about using cold water, and not being used to showering in cold water. A couple of times, I forgot that I was supposed to try to use cold water, and ended up, again, doing what I would normally do. However, with the weather heating up, I have noticed that I tend to use cold water to wash my hands in the summer, as i is cooling and much preferred over hot water. What also happened was I was not used to the cold water, and had a hard time showering, so I worked out a compromise that I would not use more than about 50% warmth on my shower lever. The rest of the changes, being more straightforwards, were easier to follow, and included a note to myself on the power bar I use to charge my electronics, bringing out a couple of blankets that are accessible, and being much more mindful of my garbage. However, the main obstacle that encompasses my goals was remembering them and breaking the old habits, as I had to write reminders for myself to follow. For the future, I am hoping to keep using these five as a basis for moving towards reducing my footprint even further from what it currently is. More specifically, I want to try taking more public transit, or better walking! Alongside that, I want to be more cautious of what I eat, and try to eat local, organic foods.



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