Carbon Footprint and Sustainable Living Paper In this laboratory exercise, you will investigate how your daily activities impact the environment. You will calculate your carbon footprint and then dete

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Carbon Footprint and Sustainable Living Paper

In this laboratory exercise, you will investigate how your daily activities impact the environment. You will calculate your carbon footprint and then determine how you can alter your habits to live a more sustainable life.

In a Word document, discuss all parts of this lab activity. Your essay should include the answers to all the worksheet questions. Do not include the original questions. Your answers should be presented in flowing paragraph form. Be sure to include all data tables and graphs from this activity in your paper.

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Be 3 pages in length (excluding tables, graphs, and other visuals, title page, or references list)
  • Include 1-2 outside sources
  • Be formatted according to the APA guidelines.

Carbon Footprint and Sustainable Living Paper In this laboratory exercise, you will investigate how your daily activities impact the environment. You will calculate your carbon footprint and then dete
Procedure Gather the garbage bag and notepad or notebook. Over the course of the next 2 days (minimum): Collect all garbage in the garbage bag. Note: Do not collect food scraps (left-over sandwiches, banana peels, etc.), as they will cause the bag to smell and make it difficult to review your garbage at the end of the exercise.   Record your transportation – note each trip by car, bus, walking, biking, etc. Do your best to estimate the distance of each trip and the travel time. If driving a car, note the number of people in the car during your trip. Note why you made the trip each time (grocery run, appointment, going to class, going to work, etc.) If you are driving the car, start the week with a full tank of gas, set your odometer to zero, at the end of your exercise fill up the tank again and divide the total mileage by the amount of gas used to determine your miles per gallon. Make a food diary. Record what you are eating, the packaging your food is wrapped in, and if the food is organic or conventional. Make special notes of beverage consumption – bottles of water, water container, soda cans, etc. Track your energy consumption: record the thermostat reading of your home, how many lights you use during the day and for how long, how many appliances are currently plugged in at your home. Also find out how your home is heated (electric or gas), do you use solar or wind energy in your home? How many CFL light bulbs are in your home? How many incandescent light bulbs are in your home? Track any additional energy usage that you use on a daily basis. Track your water usage: record the length of your showers, how long you let the faucet run when you brush your teeth/shave, how many loads of laundry you do, how many dishes you wash, how much ice you throw down the drain, how many times you run the garbage disposal, how many leaks are in your home, how often do you run the faucet to get cold drinking water, etc. At the end of the 2 days (minimum), compile your notes and record the summary of your results in Data Table 1. Make sure to answer all questions posed in Step 2 of your summary. Ask your instructor if he/she would like you to scan or send the notes you took during this exercise for them for review. For the trash collection: note the general trends, such as – number of cans, number of bottles, approximately how much paper, number of plastic grocery bags, food packaging, paper towels, etc. Use one of the following 2 sites (or a site of your choice) to determine your carbon footprint (or the number of Earths needed if everyone lived like you). Record your results in Data Table 2. http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/ Exercise 1 – Questions Question 1 After tracking your behaviors and usage for the past few days, what surprised you most about your habits? Question 2 How did your trash (solid waste) collection compare to the average results for 2005 in Figure 2? Explain your answer. Exercise 2 Reflecting on My Habits In this exercise, you will determine ways to lower your carbon footprint. Note: Allow yourself to be creative when thinking of ways to alter your daily lifestyle. Procedure Review the results you recorded in Data Table 1. Review the lists of suggestions in the discussion section on how to lower your carbon footprint for each of these 5 areas: trash (waste), transportation, food, energy, and water. Create a list of ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint for each of these 5 areas; record your list in Data Table 3. Optional: Watch the documentary No Impact Man for additional ideas in ways to alter your carbon footprint. Note: Make sure to incorporate the water bottle and environmentally friendly bag (in your lab kit) into your ideas to reduce your carbon footprint. Exercise 2 – Questions Question 1 Choose one of your ideas from each of the five areas and discuss how it will lower your carbon footprint. a. Trashb. Transportationc. Foodd. Energye. Water Question 2 Optional Question: If you watched No Impact Man, what is your reaction to the project? Are there any ideas that you would like to try to incorporate into your daily life? Exercise 3 Changing My Habits In this exercise, you will implement ways to lower your carbon footprint that you identified in Exercise 2. IMPORTANT! Note: Allow yourself 2 days (minimum) for this exercise, the longer you allow yourself for this exercise, the more accurate your results will be. Procedure Gather the reusable water bottle and environmentally friendly bag. Over the course of the next 2 days (minimum), implement your changes and: Collect all garbage in the garbage bag. Record your transportation — note each trip by car, bus, walking, biking, etc. Do your best to estimate the distance of each trip and the travel time. If driving a car, note the number of people in the car during your trip. Note why you made the trip each time (grocery run, appointment, going to class, going to work, etc.) Make a food diary. Record what you are eating, the packaging your food is wrapped in, if the food is organic or conventional. Make special notes of beverage consumption — bottles of water, water container, soda cans, etc. Track your energy consumption: Record the thermostat reading of your home, how many lights you use during the day and for how long and how many appliances are currently plugged-in at your home. Also find out how your home is heated (electric or gas), do you use solar or wind energy in your home? How many CFL light bulbs are in your home? How many incandescent light bulbs are in your home? Track any additional energy usage that you use on a daily basis. Track your water usage: Record the length of your showers, how long you let the faucet run when you brush your teeth/shave, how many loads of laundry you do, how many dishes you wash, how much ice you throw down the drain, how many times you run the garbage disposal, how many leaks are in your home, how often you run the faucet to get cold drinking water, etc. At the end of the 2 days (minimum), compile your notes and record the summary of your results in Data Table 4. Make sure to answer all questions posed in Step 2 in your summary. Ask your instructor if they would like you to scan or send the notes you took during this exercise for them for review. For the trash collection: note the general trends, such as – number of cans, number of bottles, approximately how much paper, number of plastic grocery bags, food packaging, paper towels, etc.  Exercise 3 – Questions Question 1 Describe your experience using your ideas in reducing your carbon footprint. What was the most successful idea you had, and how do you know it was successful? What was the least successful idea you had? Describe why it was the least successful. Question 2 Which of the ideas you used in this exercise do you think are sustainable for your lifestyle? Explain your answer. Question 3 Which of the ideas you used in this exercise do you think are NOT sustainable for your lifestyle? Explain your answer. The Experiment The purpose of this experiment was to examine my daily activities that can impact the environment. For at least two days, I had to record my transportation, food consumption, energy consumption, and water consumption. I did this experiment over two days. Unfortunately, I am constantly working. So, the is completed whenever time is available. Data table 1 shows my consumption over two days in the five different areas. Trash Occasional pizza box. Leftover unconsumed food. Mail that is no longer needed. Etc Transportation drove to work (51 miles, one person) drove home from work (51 miles, one person) Drove to the supermarket (1 mile, one person drove home from the supermarket (1 mile, one person) Food Cook meals. 1 pound of organic chicken drumettes. One cup of cooked brown rice. One cup of super grains. Vegetables (carrots or broccoli) One small container of mixed fruit to make smoothie. 1 cup of water Energy A/C wall set on automatic at Plugged in always – TV, internet modem, amazon firestick, and refrigerator. Charged cell phone/laptop computer when needed Water Showered daily for 15 minutes Brush teeth 2x a day Washed dishes 1x a day Drank 1 gallon of water a day Data Table 1 – Consumption over two days I calculated my carbon footprint using the calculator at the Global Footprint Network. If everyone lived like me, we would need 4.1 Earths with the average for the United States is 5.0 Earths (Global Footprint Network, 2020) My ecological footprint was 6.8, my carbon footprint was 11, and my carbon footprint percentage was 56. When reviewing my consumption over two days and my information on the Global Footprint Network, I saw how much improvement is needed but somethings like transportation is unavoidable when living in the country. I did then calculate my carbon footprint using the calculator with The Nature Conservancy. According to The Nature Conservancy (n.d.), my total carbon footprint is about 46 tons CO2/year. My car gets about twenty-five miles per gallon, and I keep up with all the maintenance on them. As, I currently live with my parents, my family produces somewhat a lot of trash, emptying about 5 kitchen bag each week. Areas to reduce consumption. Energy Do not use the a/c wall units too much. Water Shut off water when brushing teeth and doing dishes. Many of the components for each of the areas is something I do not have much control over. I normally sometimes skip breakfast. For lunch I have a shake instead of an actual meal, and for dinner, my meals are cook.

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