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Environmental Footprint

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Lab: Environmental Footprint


The purpose of this lab is to learn more about how connected you are to the ecosystems and biosphere that you inhabit. You will learn how your everyday choices contribute to the human impacts on our environment you've been learning about. Most importantly, you will learn about benefits that you can achieve by joining the increasing number of people who are making choices that reduce their environmental impact.


The objectives of this lab are to:

* Identify the products and practices that contribute most to your environmental footprint

* Identify solutions for each of these products and practices and estimate your savings of BOTH carbon emissions and money.

* Consider the multiple benefits (e.g., environmental, economic, health, etc) that humanity can achieve by reducing our individual and collective environmental impacts.


1. Find out your ecological footprint:

a. Visit the Global Footprint Network web site. Use the footprint calculator to measure your ecological footprint and learn "how many earths" it takes to support your lifestyle. Be sure to choose the "detailed response" option for each question.

b. Answer each question in the quiz honestly and record your answers in the following categories:

* Your food (how much of it is animal products, processed, produced locally, and more) ANSWER: about half of the food I eat is animal products; because I eat it occasionally maybe once or twice a week, depending on my appetite.

* Your home (energy sources, how much trash you generate, how much new clothing and furniture you buy each month)- ANSWER" when it comes to trash, I generate maybe somehow less than most people. With new clothing, I buy not a lot for my wardrobe. And also with furniture, I would say seldom at one point in time.

* Your mobility (how many miles you drive, the mileage of your vehicle(s), and your use of public transport) - ANSWER: miles per week alone would be less than 50. And the mileage of my car right now is about 144, 134. The use of public transportation, which of course I have not taken such route before.

c. On the results page, click on "Explore scenarios" to learn how to reduce your footprint.

d. Use the questions that follow to reflect on your experience and feelings when taking this quiz.

2. Learn about specific products and practices that will help you reduce your environmental footprint and can even save you money.

a. Visit the EPA Household Emissions Calculator and complete its questions to learn more about your environmental impact and the benefits of solutions:

* Section 1: Estimate your current total household emissions (from home energy use, vehicle use, waste). . ANSWER: I could save 125 annual savings per year

* And could save 1,062 pounds of CO2 per year, and OR 26 percent of total emissions

* Section 2: Explore actions you can take to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste disposal costs. ANSWER: By cutting down on gas emissions per year: I can reduce the miles driven per week, perform regular maintenance, which includes, making sure that my engine is properly tuned, and tires are intact. By doing this.

* Section 3: See how much you can save (in dollars and



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