Homework Question on The Ecological Footprint
- Part 1: Go to http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/personal_footprint/ and take the Ecological Footprint Quiz (it may be helpful to take notes about your impacts as you progress through the Quiz) After completing the Quiz, you should save the results. Then retake the Quiz and change the parameters to reflect different resource usage levels. You may answer the questions using you current lifestyle and living conditions if you live on campus, or you may choose to answer as if you were living at home.
- Part 2: Write a report in 750 to 1000 words answering the following questions:
- What is an Ecological Footprint?
- What were the results of your test and what, if anything, did you find surprising or noteworthy?
- What changes can you make in your life to reduce your Ecological Footprint? If everyone lived like you do, how many earths would be needed to sustain the population, and what does that mean? (Why can’t we continue consuming resources at the current rate?
- What would happen if nothing were done?) What changes would you suggest to others to reduce their Footprint?
- What is the relationship between changes in your consumption level and your Footprint? (What happens to your Footprint as your consumption level changes?)
- Why is this significant? What are the two most significant categories of your Ecological Footprint and why?
- What adjustment would you make to these two categories to significantly reduce their environmental impact?
- What have you learned from working through this process? important note: when you start to answer the questions, please boldface the question and then put your answer below.
Homework Answer on The Ecological Footprint
Definition of Ecological Footprint
An ecological footprint is a measure that is used to show the impact of human beings on the environment. It is the uniform gauge of the human demand on the earth’s system that may be contrasted by the capability of the plant to regenerate (Global footprint networks para 1). Ecological footprint represents the quantity of fruitful area of land and sea that is indispensable to supply the resources that the human being consumes and the capability to assimilate the waste resulting from human consumption.
Human beings get resources from various places, either from their immediate surroundings or from far places. Basic necessities and electricity, among other amenities must be provided for human survival, but these resources come from nature. Human beings are, therefore, interrelated with the biosphere, and an ecological footprint which measures the area required to sustain the population helps in explaining the amount of land necessary to sustain a given population.
Results of the Test and Surprising or Noteworthy Discoveries
The results obtained from the footprint quiz indicated that my footprint requires 5-7 planet earths. It also shows that as a result of my consumption pattern, 25.3 global acres of the productive land, and producing about 37.3 tons of carbon dioxide are consumed. What I found most surprising is that I alone have such a significant impact on the environment, and if I do not check my living standards, then I may be contributing significantly towards reducing the environmental footprint.