EVR 1001- Introduction to Environmental Science

MY ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

 

In this assignment you will become familiar with the concept of the Ecological Footprint, calculate your own Footprint, compare it with the average Footprint of another country, and estimate what your future Footprint might be.

 

 

SOURCE: Global Footprint network

 

About the Redefining Progress Ecological Footprint Quiz:

 

“The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the area of land and ocean required to support your consumption of food, goods, services, housing, and energy and assimilate your wastes.”

 

Your ecological footprint is expressed in “global hectares” (gha) or “global acres” (ga), which are standardized units that take into account the differences in biological productivity of various ecosystems impacted by your consumption activities. Your footprint is broken down into four consumption categories: carbon (home energy use and transportation), food, housing, and goods and services. Your footprint is also broken down into four ecosystem types or biomes: cropland, pastureland, forestland, and marine fisheries.”

 

PART I. Use the Ecological Footprint Calculator at https://www.footprintcalculator.org/

 

to calculate your OWN Footprint.

 

IMPORTANT: Do not use the generic answers. If you can be specific when answering, do so.

 

[Hints: You can calculate your Footprint for your current residence (e.g. ,for dorm, apartment — measure or estimate your living square footage) or for your permanent family residence( phone home to help with the info!) Google up help on other items, e.g. to estimate air travel, try: http://www.webflyer.com/travel/milemarker/ , to estimate the size of a lot

 

(7000 sq ft is the minimum lot size for a single family residence, zoned R-1, for larger areas in acres or square feet, think in terms of what % of a football field the lot would fill and see the following link for help: http://www.gigfoot.net/faq/100.html Use your browsing skills to help you make any other estimates you may need. A useful tool for converting values from one type of unit to another is MegaConverter2 http://www.megaconverter.com/mega2/ ]

 

4. Based on your results, what is your current Ecological Footprint? ______ (in “Earth’s”)

 

What is your overshoot date? _________________

 

5 . Click on “see details”. Write a paragraph (5 complete sentences minimum; not sentence fragments) explaining the breakdown of your lifestyle.

 

6. Evaluate your future Ecological Footprint. Recalculate your own Footprint using answers you predict will reflect your life in 5 to 10 years (bigger income, larger home, kids(?), more travel, etc. etc.) – Try to be realistic!!

 

What is your estimated future Footprint ______ (in “Earth’s” needed)

 

7. Describe your predicted changes in lifestyle in minimum 3 or more paragraphs. Do they increase or decrease your Footprint? In which categories? How and why? (5 complete sentences minimum; not sentence fragments)

 

PART II. Answer the following questions, Use the Explore Your Data tab:

 

8. What are the US 2015 per person values for biocapacity ________? Ecological footprint ________? and the biocapacity deficit/ reserve _______?

 

Select a different country and get the same values

 

9. Country __________________ Biocapacity ____________________

 

Ecological footprint ______________ Biocapacity deficit/reserve _________________

 

10. What factors do you think influence your findings? Minimum 2 paragraphs (5 complete sentences minimum; not sentence fragments)

 

11. Explore other countries. Are there any countries that have as high a footprint or a bigger deficit than the US? Why do you think that is? Minimum 2 paragraphs (5 complete sentences minimum; not sentence fragments)

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