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Importance of the Ecological Footprint Essay

Everyone has desire, and it will never get satisfied. Because of our desire, we use all the resources we can reach or find to produce better product and develop the technology to make our life better and easier. Ecologists have warned us so many times, every action has its consequences. One day all the resources on the planet will deplete, if we keep on using the resource like this and speed up every year. We all understand the consequences but majority of us refuse to take a step to stop or slow down what is happening just simply because most of us are selfish and don’t want to give up our good life to make the future generations have a better life.

In order to understand that how our lifestyles can impact the environment differently. We can calculate our ecological footprint by looking at the result of our ecological footprint we can understand that which parts of our lifestyle should be change to help establish sustainable living. Ecological footprint accounts for the flows of energy and matter and from any defined economy and coverts these into the corresponding land/water area required for nature to support these flows. In other wards, the ecological footprint can estimate the amount of resources that necessary to support a human consumption. The ecological footprint can be allocated to different end-use categories (food, shelter, mobility, goods and services), and land types (forest, cropland, energy, fish and grazing land).

Different country, different city, different community, different family and different person has different ecological footprint, depends on people’s lifestyle. For examples, most of the students and salary man usually have meals at the restaurants or from take out and use drying machinery after washing their cloths since they have more busy life style. And the normal family might just go to the market to get some organic ingredients, cook their own meal in the house and sun dry their cloths after washing. Therefore, difference has appears. Since the family cook by themselves without driving to a restaurant and have people cook for them and dry their cloths in the sun without wasting more energy, they probably would have more sustainable living.

In the peer reviewed article, “Methodology for Determining the Ecological Footprint of the Construction of Residential Buildings in Andalusia (Spain)” written by Madelyn Marrero’s group, they says construction activity is now a major consumer of natural resources. As a general rule, resource consumption has been evaluated through methodologies related to Life Cycle Analysis. This research is proposed to integrate the Ecological Footprint indicator into the building sector: to observe the difficulties and the benefits it can generate relative to other indicators. In this case of study, they show us in figures and data in the researches. By adapted the knowledge of ecological footprint to the residential sector, analyzing the construction of buildings, and using a methodology applies the ecological footprint indicator to resources used and to waste generated in the construction of building, a type of building can be develop in Andalusia (Spain) with a final result 0.384 gha/year/m2, which is very low and good for a sustainable living.

To further understand the details of ecological footprint and how can I change my lifestyle to have more sustainable living, I calculate my own ecological footprint that I am currently contributing according to my lifestyle. My ecological footprint is 69.29 gha, which is lower than the country average (99.77gha). It is still bad because if everyone lived the same life style as me, unfortunately we would need 4.41 earths to supports us for a sustainable living. My carbon footprint is 21.91 gha, which is little bit more than half of the country average. My food footprint sadly is 30.96 gha, which is higher than the country average. This tells me that I should try to cook by myself instead of go to restaurant or ordering take out. My housing footprint is 3.62 gha, which is very low it’s almost ¼ of the country average. I think is because I live in dorm right now and I had good saving habits for energies. My good and services footprint is 12.8 gha, and its half of the country average again.

Overall, according to the results of my ecological footprint. My lifestyle is still need some changes so I can improve and have a sustainable living. First, I can cook by myself or take turn with my friends instead of go to restaurants or ordering take out. Try to take public transportations instead
of carpool and try biking or skateboarding instead of busing. Second, I should try my clothes in sun if is 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, base on my understanding of ecological footprint. It relates with a lots things, such as farming, food production, energy consumption, building construction, etc. Almost everything is related to the ecological footprint and that’s why everyone should calculate his/her own ecological footprint and make changes due to the results. So we can approach a sustainable living and slow down the speed how we using our resources and decrease the damage we do to the environment. Work Cited

Alessandro K Cerutti ; Gabriele L Beccaro ; Marco Bagliani ; Dario Donno ; Giancarlo Bounous. “Methodology for Determining the Ecological Footprint of the Construction of Residential Buildings in Andalusia (Spain).” Journal of Cleaner Production, n.d. Web. 13 May 2013.

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