THE PLAN

My ecological footprint is roughly 8.01 hectares.

How does it compare? Canada’s average ecological footprint per person is between 7 and 8 hectares so I’m on the higher side, I guess.

Ten actions that currently increase the size of my footprint:

  1. I take long showers. I tend to think a lot in the shower which causes me to take way longer to actually shower than I should.
  2. I put my tissues in the trash. I did not know tissues were supposed to go in the compost until recently and I still instinctively put them in the trash.
  3. I spend a lot of time on my computer. I certainly do.
  4. My family uses a dishwasher on a regular basis. 
  5. My family uses a clothes dryer on a regular basis.
  6. My family uses non-biodegradable laundry detergent.
  7. My family uses non-biodegradable dish soap and other cleaning products.
  8. My family uses tissues instead of reusable cloths. We used to use reusable cloths but I don’t know why we stopped.
  9. My family buys yogurt in small containers instead of larger ones. We used to buy yogurt in larger containers but I don’t know why we stopped.
  10. I do not always put my recyclables in a recycling bin. If I’m at home, this is no problem. If I’m out and about someplace public I often get lazy and throw paper and cans and whatnot into the garbage bin instead of recycling.

 

Five actions I will take to try to reduce the size of my ecological footprint:

  1. Take shorter showers. Set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes when I take a shower so that I know when I should be done.
  2. Compost my tissues. Put a sign on every tissue box in my house that says COMPOST.
  3. Wash all dishes by hand. Take more responsibility by washing all the dishes that would otherwise be put in the dishwasher by hand so that the dishwasher does not have to be powered on at all.
  4. Dry all clothes on a drying rack. Take more responsibility by hanging all laundry from the washing machine on the drying rack instead of putting it in the dryer.
  5. Recycle all my recyclables. Simply remind myself to keep my recyclables with me until I come across a suitable recycling bin.

 

THE REFLECTION

Some changes that were easy to make: Taking shorter showers. Easy. Composting my tissues. Easy. Recycling all my recyclables. Easy.

Some changes that were hard to make: Washing all dishes by hand. It was a lot more work for me. Drying all clothes on a drying rack. Not all days had ideal weather for drying clothes outside.

Some obstacles I encountered: My parents. They want to reduce our ecological footprint too but they were reluctant to follow through some of my ideas on how to reduce our ecological footprint (water-saving toilet).

Some steps I plan to take in the future: Help my family make better decisions. Come with my parents when they go shopping for laundry detergent, dish soap and other cleaning products to help them make choices that reduce our ecological footprint, choices that are safer for the environment.