My ecological footprint was 9.85 hectares. Compared to others, I found that there were varying footprints. Some people like Albert and Elaine had values around 7 or 8 and others like Yunmin had breached 12 and 13. I was quite surprised to hear this. I thought that my ecological footprint was quite high, but after comparing it to others, I found that I was smack in the middle, perhaps even near the lower range of footprints within my class.

Below are ten things that I found that were increasing my ecological footprint were:

  1. Taking somewhat long showers.
  2. Not wearing all of my clothes.
  3. Not mending my clothes often.
  4. Using lots of disposable items.
  5. Always getting driven to places.
  6. Spending lots of time on my laptop and phone.
  7. Not eating all of my food.
  8. Not eating locally sourced food.
  9. Not growing own food.
  10. Not turning off electricity consuming products.

For the next week, I have decided to do these 5 things in order to decrease my ecological footprint.

  1. Take shorter showers!
  2. Wear clothes that aren’t hoodies and sweatpants.
  3. Spend less time on my phone and laptop (excluding homework).
  4. Try to use less disposable items or try to reuse them.
  5. Turn off electricity consuming appliances unless I absolutely need them.

——– A week later ———

Alright, alright! A week has passed! I’m proud to say that I have slight changes to my lifestyle in this past week. Let’s see how each change was like!

  1. Taking shorter showers.

This has been somewhat successful! However, with my sprained ankle it was hard to hop in and out of the shower quickly, but I can tell that I’ve made lots of improvement. Before, I would spend about 15 minutes in the shower, which is quite long. Now, I spend anywhere from 7 to 12 minutes in the shower, which is a big improvement. Even before this project, I was already working on shortening my time in the shower, so it doesn’t look like a lot, but I feel that building upon my previous improvement was a good choice. This wasn’t an incredibly hard change, and I think that this change is something I will do continuously.

2. Wearing more of my clothes.
Usually, you can see me wearing a hoodie or something loose and comfortable. However, the clothes in my closet that I avoid are things that I am not used to wearing. Hence, I had some trouble doing this. Another thing that affected my progress was my sprained ankle. It made it harder to wear more constricting and tight clothing, which happen to be the very attributes that most of the clothing I avoid have. The reason behind a large amount of clothing I avoid is because my mother and I have somewhat different clothing tastes. She often goes out and buys clothing that I find troublesome to wear. However, I will definitely be working on this continuously, as the clothing is quite nice; I’m just not quite used to wearing a different style of clothing as I usually do.

3. Spending less time on my phone and laptop (excluding homework).
This has not been very successful. Excluding homework, I’ve been trying to stay away from my phone, but with AprilMayJune here and other numerous things, I’ve had trouble distancing myself from my phone. It’s not the phone I’m attached too, but the connection that the phone offers. When I’m stressed, I like to read. My phone offers me a plethora of things that I can read, and this has made it very difficult for me to detach from my phone. I do prefer real books, however, reading from my phone is much more efficient and quicker. This is something that I believe I will continue to have trouble with.

4. Trying to use less disposable items and trying to reuse them.
I found it hard to judge my progress with this one. I rarely go shopping, so I didn’t buy any disposables. I didn’t find anything to reuse, as everything that was disposable seemed to be working fine. As I reflect on my progress, I feel like this goal is a long-term goal, not something that can be done in a week. This is something I will do my best to continue, as I think it will be fun trying to reuse some of the disposable items I have at home.

5. Turning off electricity consuming appliances unless I absolutely need them.
This one went well! I couldn’t find a lot of things that I wasn’t using or things that were plugged in, so although I had success, it felt quite limited. Things like my phone charger or my laptop charger were things I would disconnect until I actually needed them. I’ll continue to pursue this goal and I hope that I’ll find more ways to implement this goal in the future.

Overall, this week had varying degrees of success. I’ll definitely be trying to continue to pursue these goals. I hope that I’ll be able to find more opportunities to implement these goals. Be environmentally friendly everyone!