Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint Essay
After taking my Ecological Footprint, the lifestyle I am living occupies 3.4 hectares of the Earth’s productive land and should have a regenerative capacity of 1.9 planets per year. If everyone lived the same lifestyle, it will need about 1.9 planets yearly to sustain the human population. I contribute towards the environment up keep by purchasing organic food, I take less red meats and by means eat seasonal foods. I drive a carpool to work every weekly to save on fuel, regularly serviced, and the tyres properly inflated driving within the speed limit. Low energy saving appliances at my home and minimum use of power equipment, and yet my footprint results say I need 1.9 earths at least to sustain the human population. I expected the results to be much lower. These results were a wakeup call on environmental protection.
This does not change immediately, it can also be of help creating awareness that could make people more aware and being considerate in use of the environmental resources at their disposal. The quiz challenged the way I think and what it means to be more environmental friendly. Considering our ecological footprint can change the world. Therefore, I see it necessary to create awareness to the crisis we find ourselves in. It is a responsibility of every citizen to collectively act all over the world. This assessment opened my eyes of the things we did not pay attention to and I believe we should create awareness.
“It’s all in the outcome – Consequentialism”
Human demand already exceeds the long-term carrying capacity of the planet. The world is in a global ecological overshoot, because we turn resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources. To achieve an ecologically sustainable society will require a virtual revolution in the values and beliefs, assumptions, and behaviours that govern our relationships with each other and with nature. The world must acknowledge the full range of human behavioural possibilities and emphasize thosequalities most appropriate for mutual survival. It was discussed in the learning unit that one possible solution is that a wipe out is needed to bring the available footprint up to the current consumption, reducing the number of people on planet Earth, to sustain various consumption levels. By killing, or as discussed in assignment 3, “by the act of letting 20 000 children die every day is justified on the basis of the good of the whole species” would be wrong from my perspective. From a utilitarian perspective, there is no morally relevant distinction between killing and letting die, at least not when that death could be easily prevented by our actions. Utilitarianism is after all described as a tradition in which actions are judged as good or bad based on the aggregate good or bad which that act would lead to.
Rather we can try to achieve zero population growth – “a condition in which the human population, on average, neither increases nor decreases”. We can try to achieve this zero-population growth by taking several possible approaches: •Delaying the age of first childbearing – this will slow the population growth. The marriage age could be raised to drop the percentage fertility required to achieve zero population growth. •Birth control – another way to lower the birth rate is breast feeding, which can delay the resuming of ovulation after child birth (breast feeding provides more protection against conception in developing countries than family-planning programs did). Family planning is still emphasized, however. Methods can include the birth-control pill. In Africa, only 18% of woman use them. •National programs to reduce birth rates – These programs can explain the problems arising from rapid population growth and to describe the ways that individuals will benefit from reduced population growth and can also provide information about birth-control methods and provide access to these methods. Another way to increase our available footprint can be to increase production technology to increase yield of food, thus not increase total land used or finding another planet.
“Fair’s Fair – Distributive Justice”
Many of us would think it will be wrong or unfair to delay the age of first childbearing, as mentioned above. But what exactly will the nature of the wrong be? We must be able to identify someone who has been harmed, in order to say that delaying the age of first childbearing is wrong or unfair. To delay conception might produce a better world, or produce a world with higher levels of overall well-being. By producing a small number of children which could have a higher quality of life rather than producing a large number of children whose lives are barely worth living. It might be utilitarian to think that morality requires acting for the impersonal aggregate good, but the world could be better where people decide to delay conception, rather to have a world where people reproduce a large number of children.
What would be fair, is for the current generation to preserve the opportunity to develop and sustain social institutions. What we owe to future generations is a level of each of the primary goods on a person’s list, sufficient to sustain the most basic of human needs and to secure enough beyond that minimum. We need to save a sufficient amount of our precious resources to guarantee enough economic and other resources for future generations. If I were to pull on the veil of ignorance, not knowing whether my children would have a high-quality life, or a life that is barely worth living, would I accept the fact that we must preserve our resources and the economic value they have, to reap the benefits for my children? My personal answer is yes. If not, then there will be no resources left for future generations to live a high-quality life.
“Greenies – Environmental Ethics”
” Granting a tree, a mountain and a bird intrinsic value is the first step towards an ecocentric world and a better planet.” Humans are the carriers of intrinsic value and, therefore, all other living things are there to sustain humanity’s existence. The ecological footprint resulted from human’s greediness and has led to massive alterations in nature’s balance. We as humans have a responsibility to all biological life on Earth, because we are capable of thinking and perceiving Earth as a whole. We have a responsibility to the innate worth to all living things, regardless of their usefulness to humans. Our anthropocentric perception of the world is the reason for the environmental crisis we find ourselves in, ranging from global warming, water scarcity and the loss of biological diversity.
For example, people cut down trees to build houses or for making furniture – trees inborn value in this situation is ignored, therefore, devastating overall outcomes emerge. Deforestation contributes to global warming, less trees means less absorption of carbon dioxide, leading to more greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere. To make environmental decisions to satisfy both anthropocentrism and ecocentrism is difficult. Humans can still make decisions that would benefit themselves, but they must weigh up the consequences of their decisions and give first priority to nature. For example, choosing oil as an energy resource is not environmental friendly – recycling oil, on the other hand, can produce biodiesel to power automobiles. We can have the best of both, but we need to apply the recycling process to reduce our natural resource consumption.
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Published: Thu, 11 May 2017
My ecological footprint percentage is 70.82%. We would need 4.51 earths if everyone had the lifestyle that I lead. The results made me feel concerned because my footprint is below average by almost 20 percent, which seems like a lot to me. I was surprised that my results were so poor because I think of myself as someone who is environmentally conscious. I do not litter by throwing garbage on the street. If a garbage can is not conveniently located by me, I carry the garbage with me until I can find a garbage can. Because of little things like this, I was surprised that my ecological footprint is so low. That is why I think this was a worthwhile assignment because it educated me about how environmentally friendly I am. I would realistically reduce my footprint by about 25% by using cleaner transport. Usually I drive whenever I need to go somewhere, but I think from now on whenever possible, I will take the Metro Transit bus instead.
I think that resource depletion is likely to increase as Developing Countries attempt to increase their standard of living. The country where I am from, a developing country, Yemen, does not have as large an ecological footprint as Canada does. In our cities, cars are used a lot but in the countryside, people uses horses and camels as their main way of transporting themselves. Yemen is trying to become more developed like the West, but so far it has not worked out that well. Originally, because Yemen started out as a kingdom, only the King had a car but over time, as it became a republic, cars became more common as everyday people began driving them in the cities. I think that as Yemen seeks to become more like the Western world, especially the United States, resource depletion will become more pronounced. Developing Nations should not have the right to deplete resources just to become more like the West, because that will make just the situation with the environment worse as time goes on. If every country has a large ecological footprint, then we will increasingly need more earths to satisfy everyone’s energy consumption.
The article, found on http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=16168. says that people in Europe are relying too much on groundwater. If this continues, then the water supply could become a problem. If that happens, the price of water will go up, and this will be bad for the world economy because everyone needs water. If people who need it cannot afford to pay for it, then that could be an economic, as well as environmental, disaster. The root cause of this problem is that people are relying too much on groundwater. We can reduce our footprint as countries by making sure that some people do not get extra water, while others go without.
Everyone has desire that will never be satisfied. Because of these desires, we use all the resources we can reach or find to produce better product and develop the technology and improve our lifestyle. Every action has its consequences. If we use our resources carelessly one day we will find ourselves in a situation that we will never recover from. And we all know the consequences that comes with this carelessness and we to give a blind eye to everything because of selfishness and greedy we won’t like to share and give up the luxuries we have in destroying resources for the future generations. It would be wiser if we sacrifice today for tomorrow.
To know how our lifestyles, have impact on the environment, it is through understanding our ecological footprint and how we can change our lifestyle to a sustainable living, by calculating our own ecological footprint that is currently contributing to our lifestyle and with them we can understand which part of our lifestyle need change to help us establish a sustainable living. Ecological footprint accounts for the flows of energy and from any defined economy, it can estimate the amount of resources that is necessary to support human consumption. It can be allocated to different end-use categories (food, shelter, mobility, goods and services), and land types (forest, cropland, energy, fish and grazing land).
Overall, results of my ecological footprint show that my lifestyle is still in need of changes to improve and have a sustainable living. To try and cook than going to restaurants and try to use public transportation to and from work.of carpool and try biking or skateboarding instead of busing. Second, I should try my clothes in sun if possible and wash all my clothes until is full. Third, I should turn off my computer and unplug all the electronic devices when I am not using them.
However, ecological footprint, relates to so many things, like farming, food production, energy consumption, building construction, etc. Everything is related to the ecological footprint and that is the reason why everyone should have ecological footprint and make changes to a sustainable living. We approach a sustainable living and slowdown in the in the consumption of our resources and decreasing the damage to our environment.