Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ecological Footprints

After taking the Ecological Footprint questionnaire, I'm a little surprised to hear that it would take 4.96 Earths "if everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle", though I'm not surprised that my lifestyle has a negative influence on the environment.  With all the water, electricity, and gas that people use on a daily basis just to live comfortably, it's no wonder that there are terrible effects on the Earth; on top of that, there's all the waste and unusable material (rubbish, plastic wrappers for pre-wrapped food, etc.) that increases as the number of people living on the planet increases, even with widespread talk about sustainable design options.

Sustainable design and eco-friendly design seem to be gaining more and more popularity in recent years, but I can't help but think that it's a far-fetched dream unless something drastic happens.  I'm not saying that I'm giving up on living an ecologically conscious lifestyle, but for one person alone to change and severely reduce his footprint is quite a burden (especially if everyone around him is uncompromising and as wasteful as ever).  The only way in my mind that we can reduce our footprints is for everyone to make the commitment together, to share the burden as a community.  It's like the childhood scenario of a few friends saying they'll all jump into the pool on the count of three, while only one actually jumps and the others stand and laugh.  We all need to make the jump together, or I fear that my footprint of 77.99 global hectares won't be going down much at all in the near future.

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