Thursday, 25 February 2010


Today as part of our sustainability project, we discussed some aspects of our lifestyles and the effect they had on the planet. With the alarming fact that on average, in some countries such as Canada and USA, people are consuming at such a rate it would take 5 planets to support their habits, we were shown a website that would calculate our own consumption levels.

WWF footprint calculator

Before I calculated my own levels, we did a few examples with some of our classmates and as we went through the questions I found myself mentally answering these in my head, thinking surely I am quite Eco friendly and comparing my lifestyle with theirs. With my mum being quite excessive over the whole recycling thing, almost everything in my house is recycled...from the normal items such as paper to more unusual things like sweet wrappers she uses as art materials for her playgroup art projects, you name it she has a use for it!

Splitting the test into the sections travel, home, food and stuff, the 'WWF footprint calculator' aims to tell you as accurately as they can how harmful you are to the environment - I have to say I was a little shocked!

My results showed that I was living as though I had 3.22 planets to support me! The first emotion I felt was sadness! I mean I'll admit I am one of the first to criticise people when they are being 'unenvironmentally' friendly, e.g. taking the car when they can easily walk the journey, so to be told that I was harming the world a fair bit wasn't something I enjoyed.

My footprint calculator

Personally I think the parts that boosted my need of resources was the fact that I have a car and my love for food, meat in particularly! Maybe the fact that I spend more than 10 hours on a bus getting to and from University, the charms for my expensive bracelet for my birthday, all the products I use for my face and hair all had something to do with it too?

Okay so maybe I am not as environmentally friendly as I had first thought! It's clearly not enough to just recycle products and not waste food but it has taken this free test to show me this. Obviously I can't change all the aspects that were harmful in this test but it has made me think a little more about my choices and might make me question myself more before doing something. I just hope my mum doesn't read this blog or she'll go into recycling overdrive!

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