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Ecological foot print calculator

Ecological foot print calculator
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  • Ecological foot print calculator

    Post #1 - October 16th, 2021, 9:22 pm
    Post #1 - October 16th, 2021, 9:22 pm Post #1 - October 16th, 2021, 9:22 pm
    Hi- I am on the email list for collective resource, which is a group in Evanston that picks up and composts your food waste. In their latest blog post, they gave a link for http://www.footprintcalculator.org which asks you questions about your lifestyle, and then determines how it affects the planet. If you get a perfect score, you get a one earth rating. I got a 3 1/2 earth rating, and I am pretty self aware about what causes harm to the environment. I think to only get a rating of one earth you would have to be vegan and not own a car, and for a lot of people that is unreasonable. I thought some other people here might be interested in this. They ask you if you have a vehicle, and how many miles you put on it, and they also ask if you eat meat and dairy and how much of that you eat, and if you recycle. There are a few other questions you have to answer. I am just interested if anyone here gets close to a one earth rating. The person at Collective Resource got a three earth rating. The group responsible for this is Global Footprint Network, and is based in Oakland. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #2 - October 19th, 2021, 5:41 pm
    Post #2 - October 19th, 2021, 5:41 pm Post #2 - October 19th, 2021, 5:41 pm
    I don't feel so bad getting a score of 3 1/2 earths. The average American gets a score of 8 earths I just found out.
  • Post #3 - October 21st, 2021, 1:13 pm
    Post #3 - October 21st, 2021, 1:13 pm Post #3 - October 21st, 2021, 1:13 pm
    There's a lot of geeky detail we could get into about ecological footprints. One aspect I'd note is that, while it is true that the richest countries in the world consume resources at greater rates than poorer countries, the degree of urbanization is a very significant factor in the ecological footprint calculation. Among the reasons for this are that greater degrees of urbanization facilitate (a) greater reliance on mass transit than on personally owned vehicles and (b) apartment dwelling, which consolidates utility (water, heating, etc.) use to a greater degree than living in detached homes.

    So while, yes, the US is among the rich countries that tend to use resources more than most other countries, this map from this web site, which shows the US, Canada, and Australia having higher ecological footprints than other rich nations such as Japan and almost every European country can be explained by the much lower population densities of the US, Canada, and Australia than Japan and Europe. Granted, the population density of the US as a whole, while very low in comparison to Europe, considerably exceeds those of Canada and Australia. But there are few places in the US (New Jersey, Washington DC, some other areas nearby) that have population densities anywhere near those that are typical in Europe.

    Within the US, climate differences, as measured by heating degree days and cooling degree days, for example, obviously result in differences in residential energy consumption, but there are also differences state by state in commercial, transportation, and industrial energy consumption, for multiple reasons, as the four-map chart on this page shows. But again, population density comes into the calculations. For example, North Dakota's high per capita rankings for residential and commercial energy consumption are the result of both the cold winters and the sparse population of the state.

    All of which is to say that while the ecological footprint discussion is very interesting, it's worth keeping in mind that it doesn't depend only on how you live (in your individual household); a very influential factor in how ecological footprint is calculated is where you live.
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