So I took the footprint calculator quiz and discovered much to my dismay that I'm an ecological hog. If everyone lived like me, we'd need 5.2 planet earths to provide enough resources. Just to support me, it takes 23 global acres of the earth's productive area.
How does the US rate as a whole? Sadly, the gap between our ecological footprint and the planet's biocapacity to sustain us has only widened in the past two years.
The planet's not going to multiply, so how can I better fit the planet? To decrease my footprint I'll:
- purchase products that use less packaging and those I do purchase will be made out of post-consumer recycled materials
- take less vacations involving air travel. I'll continue to carpool and purchase vehicles with better fuel economy.
- buy locally produced food (less packaging, trasport costs and the like mean a smaller footprint)
- plant a fruit/vegetable garden and compost organic materials (zero packaging or transport costs).
- plan the week's meals in advance to cut down on food waste, trips to the market and impulse buying
- buy second-hand items, especially for the kids who grow out of things so quickly (recycling that's good for the earth and for the pocket-book)
- lower my thermostat by 4 degrees (and program it to stay low)
- continue to recycle (here's a list of recyclables from the EPA)
- continue to use the green option from my public utilities provider
Here are even more ideas for living green.