1. Based on your findings from the ecological footprint calculator, how many Earth’s would be needed to support the global population if everyone lived your same lifestyle? Additionally, describe the impacts on the Earth’s climate, biodiversity, and economic security if every individual in the world lived your same lifestyle and discuss why these impacts would occur.
The world population is more than 7 billion (“worldometers”, n.d.). If everyone lived my lifestyle, we need 28 billion earths. Human actions like agriculture, production processes, transportation etc. are causing widespread changes to the Earth's climate and biodiversity. Human activities change the levels of soil nitrogen, atmospheric CO2, and the accumulation of other greenhouse gases. (Tilman & Lehman, 2001). Increasing the usage of water resources has increased temperature levels and are shrinking ice sheets. I have a burger once or twice a week. A burger costs 3000 liters to be produced. In 2012, 14 billion burgers were consumed in USA which means 42 trillion liters of water was used (Emmott, 2013).
I drive my car daily. I use about 3 liters of gasoline everyday. For every liter of petrol used, 2.3 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere (RAC, n.d.). If 100 students in the university use a car with similar mileage, 690 kg of CO2 is emitted in the environment.
2. Based on your findings from the ecological footprint calculator, what are the 3 everyday products and practices that contribute most to your environmental footprint?
My electricity usage, travel, and eating habits contribute most to my environmental footprint. Electricity is used for all modern conveniences. Increasing use of smart devices and laptops increases my electricity consumption. I travel by car daily. I consume processed foods like chips and soda.
3. Based on the information from the reduce emissions section of the household emissions calculator, name at least 2 actions that you can take to limit your carbon emissions? Include in your answer the exact dollar savings and the weight of carbon dioxide that could be saved (from the calculator results) for each of these two actions.
The total emissions of my house are 17,387 pounds of CO2per year. I would reduce driving by 1 mile per week, allowing me to save $9 per week and reducing my carbon emissions by 5 pounds per year. Increasing temperature in the air conditioner thermostat by 2 degrees will result in a savings of $9 savings and a yearly reduction of 235 pounds of CO2.
4. Does reducing the size of your ecological footprint necessarily mean reducing your quality of life? Why or why not? Are there ways of enhancing your quality of life while lowering your environmental impact?
The earth provides us with food, water, fresh air, and shelter. However, our consumption pattern leads to unsustainable demand. We need to change our lifestyle. It does not mean that the quality of life is reduced. In homes, insulating cavity walls will reduce heat loss, resulting in lesser demand for gas and reducing climate impact. Eating wisely will also bring a positive change in the environment and in my health. Moreover, choosing foods that are produced locally will lead to reduced transportation. Foodstuff is also fresher. Seasonal foods should be consumed so that artificial ripening of fruits and vegetables is reduced. These practices will reduce one's ecological footprint. One will also have a healthier lifestyle; thus, increasing the quality of life.
Emmott, S. (2013, June 30). Humans: the real threat to life on Earth. Theguardian. Retrieved
RAC. (n.d.). Impact of cars on the environment. Retrieved from
Tilman, D.& Lehman, C. (2001, October). Human-caused environmental change: Impacts on
plant diversity and evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(10), 5433-5440.
Worldometers. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldometers.info/world-population