I have an ecological footprint of 60.76%, which is an indication that my standard of living is not environmentally sustainable. It also shows that if all the people lived a similar life to mine, then we would need to have about 3.49 Earths for sustenance. This is a result that I would not have expected given that I regard myself as one person who really appreciates the environment because I do not litter or throw away carelessly wastes that is mostly non-biodegradable. I also eat moderately and do exercises a lot. I am surprised for scoring low on the ecological footprint. However, the exercise was worth the while in learning what aspects I need to improve when it comes to the environment.
To support my lifestyle, and given that the bio-productive land on earth is only 29 billion acres it has the capacity for the sustainability of 1.9 hectares or 4.5 acres per person. Therefore, it means that for my 3.49 Earths I would need 3.49 multiplied by 4.5 acres; equal to 15.70 acres equivalent to 6.353565 hectares.
The steps I will take to reduce the size of the footprint involve reducing consumption and wastage. I will be cautious of the throw-away mentality that affects the first world more than in the developing countries. I will reduce my meat consumption to eating now and then and will devise ways I can grow my own food so I can reduce consumption of processed food to about 50%. On the material consumption, I can reduce my foot print by decreasing the waste I generate through changing fashions and avoiding thrills of “new stuff” that do not add any value to life. On the shelter footprint, I will manage this by managing my space and for those that I live with such that my household is sustainable by the size of the house and the structure. I will also avoid unnecessary usage of the motor vehicle and take bicycle rides or walk where necessary, and take my holidays locally.
Summary & Application
The ecological footprint indicates that people have a resource intensive lifestyle especially in the developed world, which leads to ecological and environmental degradation and poverty and cannot sustain growth. The common consumption patterns contributing to my score are the ones that directly affect my well-being and life as I live it. This includes the consumption of foods and shelter, where I eat more than I should, waste more food and live in a lot bigger shelter than I should. Another contributing factor is the love of convenience that comes with, for example, driving a Car to a location where I could have walked or ridden a bicycle. Some of the easy changes to make include having moderate consumptions, avoiding new product purchases, growing my own foods, replacing the car, and being mindful of the environment.
In the near future, I would also like to make the changes by moving to a lesser house where I will be paying lower rent amounts and will prefer if the house is made of concrete rather than wood. The size must be just enough for me and my family, a total of 3 people, with the necessary amenities such as a bathroom and a backyard that are ecologically friendly. I will also take some steps into educating my peers on the importance of taking the ecological test and encourage them into auctioning some positive changes in their lives to reflect on what they have realized about their own lives. I expect the challenge of getting a good house by size and ambiance in a safe neighbourhood, which must be near my place of schooling and work. This challenge might make the undertaking unrealistic, which would force me to reconsider the decision. I will need better skills at convincing my peers on the need to take care of the environment and to not only meet the challenge, but also reduce consumption in the modern capitalistic world while changing ideas of the masses to get them working together towards a sustainable earth as a resource.