I consider myself a person who lives as sustainable as possible. I think about my electricity usage and how much gas and driving I do. I try to use reusable containers as much as possible. I was surprised then to see if everyone lived like I do, according to the footprint calculator, 4.1 Earths would be needed to support my lifestyle. I was actually a little embarrassed by this fact. I spent a summer living in a tent in Yosemite National Park in California and after living for a few weeks without electricity, internet, or even a kitchen, I learned how little you actually need to survive. I remember seeing a TV for the first time in nearly two months and thinking “I bet theres nothing good on.” I’m sure I was right
4.1 Earths? That seems so high, I mean, not me right? I go to school for sustainability, I can do better! I began thinking about all the ways I use energy. Driving to school everyday is my biggest expense as well as where i use the most energy. Unfortunately this isn’t really much I can do about that driving. I’ve looked into bus routes but they are often unreliable and don’t come near my house. I try to keep my trips to a minimum and go only when I need to go.
One area I can definitely make a change in is what I eat. Eating meat is something I’ve always done. I never wanted to be a vegetarian or have that type of lifestyle. It’s just not me, I like steak every once in a while. But the more I have learned about the carbon footprint of eating meat, I have found myself choosing vegetable options more and more lately. I would be interested in seeing what my carbon footprint would be if I were to eliminate meat all together from my diet. Because i live at home and would have to convince my parents (who provide most of my sustenance) I doubt I can cut meat out entirely (I am the black sheep of the family who reminds everyone to recycle), but perhaps I can make a personal change to at least eat less meat and see how that affects my carbon footprint.
I am also planning on building a terrarium in my room to grow little things, herbs mostly, to add to my diet and growing a full herb garden on the deck. Last summer I meant to do this but was just to busy to sit down one day and do it. Hopefully this year I can make that happen. My biggest obstacle to this is simply time and a willingness to change what is comfortable and familiar both within myself and with my parents. I know I want to make these changes, I just have to execute my plans not.