Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 9 and 10 of the course textbook. Also, view these two short videos on reducing waste: Disposability Consciousness (Links to an external site.) and Two Adults, Two Kids, Zero Waste | Bea Johnson | TEDxFoggyBottom (Links to an external site.).
In this week’s discussion, you will recalculate your ecological footprints from Week 1 and determine whether or not your actions taken over the past five weeks have made a difference in the size of your footprints. You will also have the opportunity to discuss additional actions one might take to live more sustainably. In particular, you are encouraged to focus on techniques for reducing the amount of waste that we generate in our everyday lives.
Complete the following:
First, redo your three footprint calculations from Week 1: your ecological footprint (What Is Your Ecological Footprint? (Links to an external site.)); your household carbon emissions footprint (Carbon Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.)), and your daily water footprint (Water Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.)).
Copy and paste the footprint table below into your post and complete the table with your data. You can also access the Footprint Table here. Calculate the differences between your Week 1 and Week 5 footprint data.
More useful resource: Water Use Calculator: Find Out Your Water Footprint (Links to an external site)
Compare your new answers from the ones you obtained back in Week 1. How did the footprints change, if at all?
Do you suspect that any changes are the result of the actions you took? Why or why not?
In a well-crafted discussion post of at least 200 words, report on the results of all five weeks of the Ecological Footprint Reduction Project.
Did you meet with success? If so, what activity or activities do you think made the biggest difference?
What additional actions would you consider taking to reduce your footprints in the future, particularly in terms of lessening the amount of materials you consume and wastes you produce?
What did you learn from this experience?
Do you think that individual efforts to live more sustainably matter? Why or why not?
Also read: Root Causes of our environmental dilemmas