Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Janique Goff: Reducing your "ecological footprint"

This Janique Goff blog discusses the impact that the space and resources dedicated to meeting the individual needs of a person—collectively called ecological footprint—have on the environment and the means that can be undertaken to reduce it.

Janique Goff. Photo Credit: peekpackaging.com

The space and resources needed to sustain the needs and wants of human beings are immense. The ecological footprint an individual person has varies with his or her lifestyle. To put things in perspective, scientists at the University of British Columbia estimate that the city of Vancouver—with among the highest standards of living in the world—needs 22 times its own land area to sustain itself. And this is not taking into account the costs and area needed for imported goods.

Janique Goff. Photo Credit: downeastenergy.com

Ecologists like Janique Goff note that while reducing this global footprint is a daunting task, given that many people the world over lack basic needs, there are ways that ordinary people can take to reduce both the ecological footprint and the related carbon footprint or amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the activities of daily life.

Janique Goff. Photo Credit: farm8.staticflickr.com

Among these many steps is to augment one’s diet with home-grown organic produce, thus reducing the amount of land needed to grow food and produce fertilizer. Done in a considerable scale throughout a city, home gardening and rooftop gardening can help reduce a city’s ecological footprint by growing much of the food on-site.

In addition, reducing one’s consumption habits to necessity can also help. While it may appear to be miserly, living within necessity not only helps save on Earth’s resources but also helps save one’s money for more pressing and important needs.

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