How many earths are needed to sustain *your* ecological footprint?


When we make that effort to recycle It's easy to think we're doing our part for the planet. I was especially proud of myself, thinking I was a living a conscientiously sustainable lifestyle;  a never-ending supply of cute totes for when I go shopping, use a reusable coffee filter, of course recycle as much as I can, I use tea towels instead of paper towels to dry my washed fruits and veggies, and I've even swapped out napkins for small shop rags (admittedly that decision was expedited by a lack of napkins at the start of quarantine).

Deciding I wanted to find out for myself how eco-friendly my lifestyle really was I searched for a site that would calculate just that. This is the internet after all, there's gotta be something like that out there, and, of course, there was! 
I came across the Global Footprint Eco Calculator , a simple but detailed questionnaire.

To be honest, I started the quiz with smug anticipation of a high score. 

Nope! Not so much. Whoops! My results are below.

Screen shot of results from eco footprint quiz - 3.1 earths needed to accommodate my lifestyle.

As I went through question after question, a sinking feeling welled up. My answers were clearly not the ideal answer. Yes, there were definitely certain things out of my control - such as a lack of reliable public transportation in the LA area (and not even taking into account a global pandemic) or having easy access to use renewable sources for electricity.  

Hopefully, the quiz will bring some awareness to lifestyle changes you can implement, such as how much you're recycling or how many garbage bags you go through in a week (how much of that waste goes toward packaged foods or food packaging?). Simple small changes can make a cumulative impact over time. So, don't get overwhelmed and begin where you can.

Bonus Read!
Check out this article on how Taiwan became master recyclers. Classical music and paying for how much garbage you accumulate can go a long way.


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