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Part A: Ecological Footprint
Use the footprint tool from the web page What Is Your Ecological Footprint? (Links to an external site.) to calculate your ecological footprint. At every opportunity, please select the â€œadd details to improve accuracyâ€ option. At the end of the footprint activity, make a note of how many earths would be required if everyone lived like you. Then click on â€œsee detailsâ€ to obtain the following information:
- Your ecological footprint, in global hectares (a hectare is about two and a half acres).
- Your top three consumption categories.
- Finally, research some ways you might reduce your footprint, identifying a few specific ones that you might put into practice throughout the course.
Part B: Household Carbon Emissions Footprint
Next, use the Carbon Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.) to calculate your household carbon emissions footprint. After answering all the questions:
- Make a note of your carbon emissions footprint in pounds. Is that above or below the average household carbon footprint in the US?
- Also, explore specific actions you might take to reduce your footprint. Which of them might be practical to undertake in the next five weeks?
Part C: Water Footprint
Finally, use Water Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.) to calculate your daily water footprint. After answering all the questions:
- Make a note of your gallons per day water footprint.
- Record the top three contributors to it.
- Scroll down the page to access a series of â€œTipsâ€ buttons you can click on for advice on reducing your footprint. Again, make a note of some specific ideas you see that might be practical to implement over the next five weeks.
Discussion Post Requirements
Your discussion should include all the information you gathered about your consumption habits from your three footprint calculations, including all numbers with units.
Then, in a well-crafted post of at least 200 additional words, examine the numerical results of your three footprint calculations by answering the following questions:
- What did you learn that surprised you about your consumption habits?
- Propose a minimum of five lifestyle changes you could make that would reduce one or more of the three footprints. (These do not have to be the ones you use in this course-long project; over the course of the discussion, you may opt to select other ones based upon classmatesâ€™ recommendations. You will be recording your final choices for lifestyle changes in your Journal at the end of the week.)
- For each lifestyle change, identify which footprint you would be lowering by doing it. Discuss potential obstacles to making those changes, and then suggest ways you might overcome those obstacles.