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001 EcoFootprint Sp2019-1 (1)

Walking the Walk by Reducing our Footprint
INTRO: To truly become environmentally educated one must take action to reduce the impact
humans have on this planet. While changing the habits of billions of people is a rather challenging
undertaking, we must nonetheless attempt to do what we can. As future leaders and citizens of this
planet your behavior can set an example for the rest of the planet! This assignment will be our first
few steps, and I hope this task will influence your journey, and the journey of those who share in your
The goal of this assignment is to measure the amount of energy and resources you and your household
utilize in a given year by calculating the impact you are having on the planet. We will then come up
with several ways to reduce our ecological footprints, set some goals, accomplish those goals and
recalculate your footprint at the end of the semester. With determination and commitment your
footprint will be lower and you will be making positive steps to protect the environment and safeguard
resources for your children’s future!
Step 1: Go and calculate your eco-footprint: https://www.footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecologicalfootprint/
Step 2: Read the page and when you get to the bottom click “calculate your footprint”.
Step 3: Read the info and then click “Take the first step”.
Step 4: Login with Facebook or as guest (in which case you need to put in an email).
Step 5: Answer the questions and use the “Add Details to Improve Accuracy” feature
Step 6: To answer one of the questions, about 30% of California’s energy is coming from renewables
as of 2018 with a goal of 33% by 2020 and 50% by 2030
Step 7: Take the whole quiz and click “See Details”
Step 8: Take a screenshot of your results (usually “Function + Print Screen” for PC or
“Command+Shift +3” for Mac).
Step 9: Answer the following questions
Step 10: Save this document and then submit it in the ‘assignments’ folder on Canvas. Save a copy for
yourself because you will need to revisit your answers at the end of the semester.
*On your footprint you may hover over the orange “i”s to get information about terms.
A. In your OWN WORDS, what is the definition of a personal ecological footprint?
A good way to think about this, is to imagine being stranded on an island. How big does your island
have to be in order to provide enough food, water, shelter, and the capacity to renew your waste, soil,
and air. A person who wastes resources needs a bigger island to stay alive, an efficient person requires
a smaller island. A person who eats meat needs a bigger island than a vegetarian, so does a person
who has a car instead of a bicycle. So if everyone lived your lifestyle, how many Earths (islands) do
we need? Remember, we only ACTUALLY have ONE.
How many planets are necessary if
everyone lived like you?
When is your personal Earth Overshoot Day? This is
the date when, in any given year, the planet would
run out of resources if everyone lived like you,
What is your Ecological Footprint? (How many global hectares does it take to support your
lifestyle)? A global hectare is the amount of land you require for your lifestyle. We can break it into
categories so you can see which categories of your life have the greatest impact. A professional soccer
field is about 1 hectare.
How does your ecological footprint break down? Using the RESULTS of your Eco-footprint, answer
the following questions.
By LAND TYPE, which was your largest category?
By CONSUMPTION CATEGORY please RANK each of your results in Global Hectares. To see the
results you have to hold your pointer over each of the pillars on the graph.
What was your SECOND LARGEST Consumption Category? Can you explain why? (If it is the
same as LAND TYPE then choose a different category). For example, if GOODS is your largest you
might say, it is because I shop a lot and make a lot of trash.
What is your CARBON FOOTPRINT? How many Tons of CO2 do you produce per year?
Click on “Explore the Solutions” and/or go to the following websites:
*Don’t forget to check out links and other websites
F: Make a list of “Sustainability Goals”. Choose at least 15 things you can do to reduce your footprint
and live more sustainably.
Please list them in categories. For example:
Purchase energy saving light bulbs
Turn off my TV, lights, & computer when not in use
Start worm composting
Bring my own bags to the grocery store, etc., etc.
TRANSPORTATION Carpool/ bus/ BART/ etc.
Use less water
Join Sierra Club
*Save a copy of your results. You can take a screen shot and save it as a picture by using the print
screen function and then pasting that into a document. At the end of the semester you will retake the
quiz and compare these results so be sure you can find it again.