Have you ever completed one of those on-line quizzes where you can find out your ecological footprint?
Are you now asking yourself, what the hell is an ecological footprint?
The WWF defines it as ‘the measure of the impact humans have on their environment’. Here in Australia, it is noted that “we are consuming more than three times our fair share of the planet’s resources.”
Let’s just sit with that for a while.
In our second workshop for the Swinburne course we were asked to take the quiz on the WWF website and share our results with the class. This is not the kind of information that I felt comfortable sharing, especially in a classroom full of people who were obviously into living sustainably. (Why else would they be doing this course?) I just hoped I didn’t have to go first.
Fortunately I hadn’t taken the seat at the end of the row and even more fortunately, my result, thought not as ‘good’ as some, was ‘better’ than others. (Since when did such a thing become a competition!)
Pretty much everyone in the class was surprised by their results; even for members of the class who were vegan and only rode bicycles etc. It didn’t seem that anyone was living within the limits of the planet. One of the complicating factors in Victoria is that our electricity is created from burning coal, which means the majority of us will automatically have a bigger footprint.
Your homework for this week is to check out your own ecological footprint. I have chosen the WWF version because it is user-friendly and even a little entertaining.
There are those who don’t think much of the whole idea and others who think there are better methods. You are encouraged to ignore such folks, just for the purpose of this exercise.
Feel free to share your results with us. Or keep it to yourself. You might be relieved or shocked. You might wish you’d never done it or feel pleased to have somewhere from which to begin to make changes.
One step at a time.