ENVT 200 03

Personal Change

This month in our Environmental Studies class we conducted an ecological footprint assignment to determine how we affect the earth individually. The results I received shocked me. I didn’t realize how much I contributed to the degradation of our planet. My results stated that if everyone lived like me, we would need 4.5 earths to sustain my level of consumption. That assignment prompted me to make changes in my habits. I decided to make a concerted effort to recycle, preserve water by turning it off when brushing my teeth or shaving, walk or bike instead of driving, etc. Through making these changes I realized how much waste I produce and how much of my trash could have been recycled. Almost everything I once threw into the garbage bin now goes into the recycling bin. Furthermore, I began to use reusable products instead of disposal items. This cut down my waste production significantly. Beyond household routine, my choices as a consumer affect my ecological footprint. I might not see the direct results, but every product I buy or meal I eat was put in front of me at the expense of the planet’s natural resources. Between the environmental damage to obtain the components used in manufacturing, to the energy used in the production process, to the fueling of various modes of transportation needed to deliver everything involved, suppliers have options  It’s not always obvious to know which brands are environmentally-conscious, but informational resources are available to guide those decisions. With this in mind, I’m making an effort to choose the logically better option. Anything in a plastic bottle is certainly wasteful so if i have the choice, I’ll go for a larger container, glass container, or not buy it at all. I know some shops like Starbucks allow customers to bring their own mug rather than using a disposable cub. In fact, drinking coffee is a routine that provides an opportunity to make a sustainable choice every morning. I have roommates that drink coffee and their differing preferences give me options to consider when I’m needing a cup of coffee. The quickest route is the Kieureg, also taking the least amount of effort. However, dried out bland coffee grounds aren’t the only thing in a k-cup, there’s also the guilt. The amount of plastic that the world has wasted, myself included, using one use cups is disgraceful. Mainly because we all know they’re unnecessary, just easier. One option is to use a reusable k-cup that can filled with any regular coffee grounds. In conclusion, I am confident that the changes I have made in my life have lowered my ecological footprint and pushed me into a more sustainable lifestyle.


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2 thoughts on “Personal Change

  1. washingtontm

    After taking the Ecological Footprint assessment, I felt the need to change my habits instantly! It is crazy how unsustainable we live and how much resources we use. I am sure the world appreciates the changes you are making in your lifestyle. I know it is hard to stray away from culture norms in pursuit of saving the environment. I see that it took 4.5 earths for everyone to live the way you are! I am shocked, and I am sure that you are as well. You are not going through this personal change alone! I am also trying to limit my consumption so if you ever need anyone to hold you accountable then I am your gal! 🙂

  2. quicksv

    Hey Matthew, nice write-up. It’s good to see that you seem to feel some weight of the guilt from the amount of earths needed to sutain your lifestyle. It might be a surprise but at least you were honest in your asessment. It’s nice to hear that you have so any ideas, the hard part will be sticking to them! I’m going to use some of your ideas and stry working them into my routine one at a time. This makes me think that if I can be inspired by some of the things you’re saying, others can be too. Keep it up with vocalizing your intentions to go about your day with an environmentally conscious approach. Hopefully the more it is talked about, a higher awareness will spread around the community.

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