My Ecological Footprint"

Briaunna Boyd

About My "Footprint"

An ecological footprint is a theoretical footprint that is measured by seeing how much of an impact a person has on the world. For this activity, an online carbon footprint calculator was used to determine the average amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is used from a single household.

Affecting Factors

Factors that affect an ecological footprint calculation are home energy, driving/flying choices, food/diet choices, and buying/waste choices. According to the calculator, the amount of emissions from my household (31 tons) was below the average amount of emissions of the United States (80 tons). The average amount of emissions from my household was also higher than the average of the world.

Massachusetts Senario

If I lived in a Massachusetts apartment, my emissions would lessen considerably because the spaces are smaller. Pets aren’t usually allowed to live in apartments, which would lessen the amount of waste. The factors that have the largest impact on my carbon footprint are home energy, driving/flying choices and buying/waste choices.

Activities That Could Help

Three activities that I could do that would help reduce my emission of greenhouse gases are recycling, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use, and riding my bike instead of driving to places that are close. If I recycled leftover food scraps, then I could make my own compost that I could use to garden. Appliances that are still intact in electrical sockets are still using energy, even though they may not be attached to anything. Riding my bike to work, for example, would reduce the amount of pollutants that are emitted from my household.

Pros And Cons

One pro of recycling would be that I could use the compost material for gardening. One con of recycling would be that I would have to make sure everyone in my household would be up to making the change as well. A pro of unplugging appliances that aren’t in use would be that it would lower power bills in my household. A con of unplugging them would be that I would have to keep plugging and unplugging cords that I use all the time. One pro off riding my bike would be that I would be reducing the pollutants emitted from cars. A con of riding my bike would be that I would have to figure out a way to get to where I’m going safely, which includes dressing for the weather.

Short And Long Term Effects

The short term effect these changes would have on my life would be that they would lower bills, and they would cause my family to live more efficiently. The long term effect these changes would have on the environment would be that the threat of Global Warming would slowly decrease. The amount of people that have allergies would decrease, because the plants aren’t being forced into pollenating early. The world would be a much cleaner and happier place for generations to come.

Shocking Discovery

The most surprising fact about climate change that surprised me the most would be that plants pollenate early, causing more allergies. I found it interesting to know that the cause of them pollenating early would be that the CO2 levels are too high. The warmer weather makes the plants “think” that it’s spring instead of winter, which makes them pollenate, leading to more allergies around the world.