Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 9 of the Contemporary Environmental Issues text. 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.)).
- 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?
You will not be able to view others’ posts until you have made your own.
Note: If you encounter any difficulty accessing one or more of the three footprint calculators, you may need to try a different web browser. For instance, if you are using Google Chrome, you may need to use another option (Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla, etc.).
Guided Response: Respond to at least two classmates over the course of the week, comparing your successes or challenges to theirs and offering additional suggestions for ways they might lower their footprints (particularly in terms of reducing the amount of waste that they generate) and live more sustainably in the future.