Calculations of Ecological Footprint
I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I live in an apartment. My ecological footprint is based on my eating habits, the use of transport, recycling habits, and ecological responsibility. According to the quiz helping to evaluate an indicator of ecological footprint, my lifestyle needs to be changed. However, I lead a lifestyle normal for an average citizen in contemporary conditions. I use public transport much. My eating habits are normal, but include some food from restaurants. Calculations of the ecological footprint were made due to the living conditions including the middle size of my apartment and ecology saving features in it. Personal footprint calculator took into consideration all aspects of living and reflected the amount of land I need according to my habits. Results are related to the general country indicators.
The quiz held a variety of questions related to the lifestyle, healthy environmental habits, transport usage, eating habits, and the other issues regarding calculations. The result of calculations showed that if everyone lived the same lifestyle, there would be a necessity in 5.20 Earths. The total footprint in global hectares equals 81.65. The biggest indicator is food footprint (35.87), which means that it is necessary to change eating habits in order to reduce the negative impact on the environment. At the same time, personal carbon footprint (11.42) is less than the indicator of country average footprint (28.97). Personal housing footprint is almost the same as country average indicator and equals 11.33. Personal goods and services footprint equals 23.03 and is less than the country average footprint (25.12). Personal footprint share showed that the biggest impact relates to forestland footprint (40.38%). Pastureland gets 27.9% of personal influence. Marine fisheries suffer from footprint at 19.61%. Cropland footprint equals 12.11%.
Manipulation of Ecological Footprint
Personal footprint calculator showed that the result is by five times bigger than the normal footprint of a person with healthy environmental habits. It is obvious that my lifestyle needs to be changed in order to reduce the negative impact of my activity. The standard footprint equal 0.8 Earths, which means that there is a need to change habits in many aspects of daily life.
First, the largest footprint relates to food footprint. Moreover, the diagram showed that the largest share of impact comes at forestland footprint. It will be important to revise eating habits and change diet including healthy products in recyclable packs. Adding more vegetable to meals and organic food will be necessary in the mission of changing eating habits. Moreover, buying food at farmer’s markets, gardens and cooperatives will also be helpful. In future, it will bring even more results to make my own garden and grow my own fruit and vegetables.
Personal carbon and housing footprints are less than the average footprint among the other citizens. It is possible to include bicycle into daily routine and use it more frequently when I need to get to a place not far away from home. A house can be transformed into an ecologically friendly house with the help of different techniques. It will be advisable to use green design features instead of furniture that can be hardly recycled. Wooden furniture and tools will be necessary along with energy and water saving features. A house should be penetrated with energy saving devices, which can reduce the use of electricity without damage to consumers. Moreover, it is possible to develop healthy habits related to the usage of water. Rainwater catchment and instant water heaters will save energy used to provide the house with cold and hot water. In addition, it will be required to choose non-toxic cleaning products. It will be possible to take care of the house at the same level, but the negative influence of chemicals will be reduced.
Ecological Footprint Reflection
When living in the world full of new technologies, factories and innovative devices, it is hard to maintain a balance between environment and the healthy use of modern technologies. It is not a secret that today the world suffers from global warming caused by the penetration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, it is not the only problem of the humanity. Today, people are creating threats to themselves by overuse of technical devices, bad eating habits, careless attitude towards national heritage and use of materials, which can be hardly recycled. According to Martin (2014), “Humans consume about one-third of all solar energy converted to plant matter through photosynthesis, and their actions directly impact 75 percent of terrestrial Earth – or, if we take climate change into account, the entire Earth.”
Ecosystem services are mostly aimed at provision of clean water and decomposition of wastes. Nowadays it is hard to maintain balanced ecosystem due to the increased negative impact of Earth citizens. Ecosystem services support four areas of daily lifestyle and regulate the sustainability of supporting services, provisioning services, regulating services and cultural services. These spheres include elements of a healthy human lifestyle, which should be used on a daily basis.
Ecological footprint is a way to measure the need of a person and humanity in general on the ecological system of Earth. Ecological footprint is a useful tool in the evaluation of personal footprint. It reflects the impact of humanity on the main areas of the planet, which suffer from the negative impact of people. It is an indicator of total biocapacity and the amount of biocapacity used by people. Few people realize their negative impact on the environment. According to Breyman (2014), “Fear of contamination, sickness and premature death propelled citizens to demand action in Love Canal and Woburn, Chester and Harlem.” Fortunately, slowly people start taking action to save the environment.