My ecological footprint is 5.54 hectares. Compared to some, like Kate who got 7.2, this is a decently good score. However, compared to Amanda who got 3.742, this is quite a high score. Depending on what perspective you look at my ecological footprint from, I think I have an average score.
There are many actions keeping my score high. For starters, transportation, play, and living space are both quite high due to the sports I play. With transportation, after school I have back-to-back extracurriculars, so I have to be driven to them. This spikes my transportation score, despite my dad driving a hybrid. My score for play was quite large because, again, of the sports I play. I play in a gym and field, which is quite a bit of land, and I use a moderate amount of equipment. Of course, the use of gyms, fields, and social outings at the mall, increase my living space score. Fields are quite large and the amount of people on our team does not compensate for the land. Some controllable aspects are my water usage and clothing. I took 10 + minute showers, did not wear the same clothes everyday, rarely wore second hand clothes, and wore matching socks. I bought my lunch for two of the three days and bought plastic/paper wrapped food.
I chose to aim on reducing my shower time, re wearing my clothes, wearing second hand clothes, wearing mismatched socks, and packing my lunch in advance. I chose these because they are achievable. For example, transportation, living space, and equipment would be difficult to reduce due to my extracurriculars. Reducing my shower time is an effective and realistic action to take. I will change from 10+ minute showers to 3-5 minute showers. I will do this by setting a timer on my phone or playing a song. Once the timer/song is over, I will end my shower. I plan to re wear my clothes on multiple days because this will create a more minimalistic routine, while remaining an achievable goal. I will do this by rotating between two different pairs of pants and two different tops most days. Correlating to re wearing my clothes, I will wear mainly second hand clothing. I find joy in thrift shopping so I own a few tops and bottoms from Value Village. I own one pair of jeans, one sweater, and two t-shirts. I will make a conscious effort to wear at least one of these items everyday- unless an external force prevents me, such as, an all-day sport tournament. Still on the clothing topic, I plan to wear mismatched socks. I chose to do this because individual socks often go missing, and instead of throwing them out or shoving them to the back of my dresser, I can still make use of them. I aim to wear mismatched socks in any occasion where I have them in my dresser, thus, utilizing all my clothing. Finally, I will pack my lunch in advance. I chose this action to prevent the unnecessary amount of buying outside food. By doing so, I save money and reduce my ecological footprint. I am vegetarian, so I don’t have to worry about meat consumption affecting my ecological footprint at all. On top of this, I will pack my lunch in reusable tupperware containers. In order to achieve this action, I must wake up around 20 minutes earlier to prepare my lunch. I will grocery shop to get food to pack for myself, then pack my lunch for the next few weeks (and potentially more).
Wearing mismatched socks and reducing my shower time proved to be quite easy and effective tasks. Wearing mismatched socks was a simple, straightforward task that did not require much effort. Instead of neglecting the single socks at the back of my drawer, I wore them. Reducing my shower time required more work, but still easy overall. Despite my longing for a long shower, I motivated myself to follow through by remembering my end goal. It was more difficult to pack my lunch every morning. I have to go to school for block 1 every morning because my older sister has block 1. Between the 25 minute commute and arriving to school for 8 AM, I found it more difficult to find time to pack a nutritious lunch. However, I still followed through and packed my lunch every morning. Sometimes my lunch was quite sparse and lacked nutrition, but I got into a habit of waking up earlier and creating lunch. This became a natural part of my mornings. I also found it more difficult to wear the same clothing everyday. I succeeded in the pants, wearing one pair regularly and sometimes wearing a second. However, I am not the tidiest person and my top would get dirty, so I rotated to different items in my closet. The weather also changed irregularly, so I had to adjust my clothing. An obstacle I encountered was wearing second hand clothing. I found my sweater was too heavy for the weather, but I had outgrown my t-shirts. This threw a rut in my plan. I still wore my thrifted ripped jeans regularly, but did not succeed in wearing solely thrifted tops. However, I went to value village and bought a Beatles t-shirt. I wore this quite a few times.
In the end, I plan on continuing to make my own lunch on most days. This saved the money I earned from refereeing and helped control how healthy I ate. Putting lunch making into my morning routine started my day off to a positive, productive start. I plan to continue to utilize all my clothing/socks and shop from thrift stores more regularly. Despite my like for slightly longer showers, I understand the importance of shorter showers and plan to imply that knowledge more. Overall, all the actions I focused on proved to be achievable, effective, and rewarding.