Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Ecological Footprint Result


If everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need 5.25 earths. (Is that a lot?)
I have most footprints in the category of Food and then Carbon. My footprint share by biome: most in Forestland and then Pastureland.
So I think this must be because I eat meat or eggs or diary in almost every meal, and
we have a water heater that stays at 95℃ at all times which is very energy consuming, and I sometimes buy things because I'm attracted to the beautiful and lavish packaging it has.

from myfootprint.org to reduce my consumption:

Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Use cleaner transport

  • Walk, bike, or take public transit whenever possible. (Shirley doesn't have a car.)
  • Avoid short airplane trips-take a bus or train instead. (Shirley can't afford short airplane trips)

Add energy-saving features to your home

  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs in all your home light fixtures-but remember, compact fluorescents contain mercury, so look for low-mercury models and be sure to dispose of old bulbs safely through your local hazardous waste program. (Shirley's apt has done that.)
  • Weatherproof your home. Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated, and consider double-pane windows. Eliminate drafts with caulking, weather strips, and storm windows and doors. (Shirley's apt has done that,too.)
  • Insulate your water heater. Even better, switch to a tankless water heater, so your water will be heated only as you use it. (We have a water heater that stays at 95℃ at all times, sure is energy consuming!)
  • Choose energy efficient appliances. (Okay, I'll try in the future when I need new ones.)

Adopt energy-saving habits

  • Keep thermostat relatively low in winter and ease up on the air conditioning in summer. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended to keep the A/C operating at peak efficiency. (Shirley's room doesn't use the heater as much as her roommates, but sometimes she forgets to turn it off when she goes to class.)
  • Unplug your electronics when not in use. To make it easier, use a power strip. Even when turned off, items like your television, computer, and cellphone charger still sip power. (Shirley unplugs everything when not using them coz she's afraid of a power shortage or a electrical shock. Wait, except for my computer charger and night light...Oh I've never noticed them till now. Maybe I will get one of those power strips when I'm able to do things to my room.)
  • Dry your clothes outside whenever possible. (Kinda impossible during winter in Bellingham, but I dry my panties in my room sometimes.)
  • Make minimal use of power equipment when landscaping. (What do you mean by landscaping?)
  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer regularly. (It doesn't get that much frost, actually.)
  • Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind and solar power for a small rate surcharge. (I'd love to, but the utilities are offered by the apt property management.)
  • Purchase carbon offsets to make up for the energy use you can't eliminate. (What are those?)

Reduce your Food Footprint

  • Eat more local, organic, in-season foods. (They are usually more (very) expensive and Shirley operates on a very tight budget.)
  • Plant a garden-it doesn't get more local than that. (Where? On the balcony?)
  • Shop at your local farmer's market or natural foods store. Look for local, in-season foods that haven't traveled long distances to reach you. (If I have a ride I will.)
  • Choose foods with less packaging to reduce waste. (Ok, this I can do in the future coz I sometimes buy things because I'm attracted to the beautiful and lavish packaging it has...)
  • Eat lower on the food chain-going meatless for just one meal a week can make a difference. Globally, it has been estimated that 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions are associated with meat consumption. (How about if I take baby steps on eating less meat? Maybe reducing the number of slices of ham?)

The 3 Actions

So if I was to take three big steps in being more environmental, my goal would be:

1. Use less of the water heater that stays at 95℃ at all times and switch to the water boiler that needs to be turned on to boil every time, and always unplug it after use.

2. Never ever forget to turn off the heater when leaving the room!

3. From now on choose foods (and products) with less packaging to reduce waste.

Hopefully I will be able to make a small difference by treating the environment better and better because otherwise there will be no way to protect "Ilha Formosa". (the "beautiful island" in Portuguese. "Ilha Formosa" is what a sailor said in the 16th c. when their ship was sailing by the green island they have never seen, which it is now called Taiwan.)

1 comment:

  1. These seem like reasonable goals, but it would help to be more specific! "Use less of the water heater..." is pretty vague, can you make it more concrete?