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My changing footprint

I thought it would be interesting to chart my ecological footprint over the last few years, picking a few typical cases from my life. I’ll mark 25 hours of air miles for each of these years, since I’ve gone to Asia or Europe on vacation almost every year.

2001, my senior year of college. Eating meat. Living with two people in a small apartment. Driving very little, usually with someone else–in general, walking almost everywhere. Generating plenty of trash and using lots of electricity. Not paying much attention to where my food came from.
Results:

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 5.4
MOBILITY 1.7
SHELTER 2.5
GOODS/SERVICES 3.7
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 13

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 3 PLANETS.

2002, working in Redwood Shores. Still eating meat and processed foods, generating lots of trash and using lots of electricity, living with one person in a small apartment. Driving approximately 370-400 miles a week (it’s roughly a 37-mile commute from Berkeley to Redwood City, according to Google Maps) but carpooling every day.
Results:

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 5.4
MOBILITY 4
SHELTER 3.2
GOODS/SERVICES 6.4
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 19

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 4.3 PLANETS.

2003, working in Marin. Now living in a medium-sized house with two other people. Commuting by myself, by car, about 15 miles a day/150 miles a week. Making a conscious effort to reduce energy and trash consumption, but still eating meat.
Results:

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 4.7
MOBILITY 3.7
SHELTER 4.9
GOODS/SERVICES 5.9
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 19

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 4.3 PLANETS.

2003, same circumstances, but vegetarian, with a larger percentage of unprocessed foods.
Results:

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 3
MOBILITY 3.7
SHELTER 4.9
GOODS/SERVICES 5.9
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 18

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 3.9 PLANETS.

2005, working in San Francisco. Taking public transit about 200 miles a week (it’s about 20 miles from Albany to Pacific Heights, and I commute both ways every day.) I walk and bike almost everywhere, but do drive some of the time to run errands on the weekends, visit my parents, and so on; however, I drive with someone else almost all the time.

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 3
MOBILITY 2.5
SHELTER 4.9
GOODS/SERVICES 4.9
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 15

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 3.4 PLANETS.

2006, working in San Francisco, circumstances much the same as in my last snapshot, but living with just one person and now making an effort to eat locally grown, unprocessed foods.

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 2.2
MOBILITY 2.5
SHELTER 4.9
GOODS/SERVICES 4.9
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 15

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 3.3 PLANETS.
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Written by orata

May 8, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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