January 08, 2007

Ecological Footprint

I went to http://myfootprint.org/ today. We scored 24 acres - which is pretty much on par with the rest of America. We would need 5.4 planets the size of Earth for everyone to live in the lifestyle that we're living in. The biggest things we can do to minimize our impact have to do with our Shelter and our Goods/Services.

There's not much I can do about our house right now - other than continue to make energy efficient changes. BTW - if every household replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL bulb, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road! (Information from- http://simplereduce.blogspot.com/2007/01/light-bulbs-and-more.html) So I'm going to take steps to replace our regular bulbs with CFL bulbs, and am considering adding insulation to our attic.

We can, however, do a lot about the Goods/Services, and particularly food. I want to try and reduce the amount of meat we eat to one meal a week, and limit the amount of eggs/dairy we consume as well. I never realized how much energy, etc. go in to raising animals in a commercial manner. I'm sure the reading I've done is just the tip of the ice berg as far as this is concerned, but it's enough to make me want to make some changes in our food choices. I also want to pay closer attention to how much we're paying for produce - how much can a farmer really be making off those oranges that are 8 for $1.00?? Especially considering they've been trucked in from Florida - or worse - California! But that's more research for another day.

**Compact update - I passed up purchasing a pair of my favorite jeans that were on sale for cheaper than I can get them on my discount from my part-time job. You know I'm serious about something when I can pass up that kind of bargain! On a spending note - I did purchase 2 containers for our cats food, and 2 new litter boxes. The old ones will be cleaned and either recycled, or donated to a shelter.


Rachel said...

I did the ecological footprint quiz last week and it said if everyone lived like we do, we'd need 2.3 planets. That is still too much! The biggest things for us: switching over to a totally veg diet (which we do at home, but has been difficult for me here), grow more of our own food this summer, continue making our home more energy efficient. I'm not sure what else... I need to take the quiz again to help me come up with some other things.

We bought some of the CFL bulbs, but we got the "daylight" ones and I really don't like the kind of light they give off. It's blue-ish. I think we need to get the regular ones.

Natalie said...

Yea - It's hard adjusting to the CFL's, but I think that once they're in every light, we'll be better off. I just don't want to pitch all the bulbs that we have that we haven't used, so I'm replacing things as they burn out and we run out of bulbs. There are some that will have to stay with regular bulbs though because I can't find CFL's to fit the socket.