Ecological Footprint

Anna Gregg, Earth Env, Science Honors, 1st period

What is ecological footprint?

An ecological footprint explains how much of an impact that someone leaves on the environment. Or, world’s measure of humans demand on nature.

What are 5 factors that affect ecological footprint?

There are many factors that affect ecological footprint. One is food consumption, or the amount of food that you and your family consume in a week or year. Another example could be transportation. Whether your family uses a car that creates high pollution, or you use an energy efficient vehicle, this is an effect on your carbon footprint. Two more examples are the region that you live in and the amount of waste you produce, and if you recycle or not.

Comparing carbon footprint and the world averages?

The world average for carbon footprint is 22 combined factors including driving and flying choices, buying and waste, energy you use, and your food and diet choices. The US average is considerably higher and 5 times as much, with 110 for the average American’s lifestyle. Personally, my carbon footprint was in the middle of the averages, with my total of estimated emissions being 58 percent.

How would my carbon footprint change if I lived somewhere else?

Depending on the area that I lived in and the factors that apply to my footprint, my results would vary. If I lived in Massachusetts, my carbon estimation would be much lower. This is an example of the region you are in changing your results.

Which factor had the biggest effect on my footprint?

For my footprint, home energy had the biggest effect on my percentage. Recycling, using bulbs that are energy efficient, and conserving heat and air in off seasons would help me reduce the negative impact I have. Being aware of the energy that is being used and conserving whenever possible like unplugging things out of outlets when I leave my house would be helpful. I could make these ideas and examples a part of my daily life and reduce my carbon footprint emission percentage.

What are the pros and cons to making the changes? What are the short and long term effects?

If I used energy friendly appliances and lightbulbs, the costs upfront would be possibly more than double than if I used regular non-ecofriendly materials. That would be a short term effect, because I would profit at a later time. A long term effect would be the future. My investments in the ecofriendly materials would benefit me tremendously with the salvage of energy, and my appliance, heating and cooling bills would be only a fraction of what they would have previously been.

What fact about the climate surprised me the most?

The number one contribution by the USA is transportation, which promotes greenhouse emissions. This is the factor that surprised me the most. America is wasteful with their energy and one of the most polluting countries in the world.

What are three activities that could help reduce emissions of green house gases?

Bicycling, Carpooling with neighbors and friends, and recycling would drastically help if Americans took time to make it a priority. Bicycling is a good way to gain exercise, but it not practical if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. Carpooling is a good way to protect the environment, because you are using less energy. It is also helpful economically. Prices in gas and other necessities to run a vehicle are not cheap, and carpooling is less expensive on both ends of the party. These are a few ways that America could reduce their energy consumption, and make a positive impact on the country as a wholes’ carbon footprint.