So, there was a Minnesota Public Radio "Policy and a Pint" earlier this week about environmental awareness that I missed. I really wanted to calculate my environmental footprint, and see what kinds of changes I could make!
I did a quick web search, and found this ecological footprint quiz. It was pretty interesting! Although I learned I have a below-average ecological footprint, I also learned it would take 4 1/2 Earths worth of space if everyone lived the way I did! Interesting. The biggest factor, by far, was the poor gas mileage my vehicle gets, coupled with my lengthy commute each week. At the end of the quiz, there is a place that offers suggestions for ways you can make changes! Cool. Obviously, the best way for me would be to stop driving so far each week, which will be accomplished in a very short period of time. (A week and a half left!) Also, selling my air conditioner should happen, (I run it too often, and really, there are only a couple of really uncomfortable weeks each summer,) and air-drying some loads of laundry each week. There weren't questions, however, about the types of products you choose to purchase, (like recycled toilet paper, phosphate-free laundry detergent, etc.) recycling or composting habits, etc.
Overall, it was interesting to see how I compared! I encourage everyone to give it a go -- I know there are plenty of things I could change in my life to better care for the planet, and I bet everyone else could find one or two changes to make, too!
I propose to anyone who's interested, make an "Earth Day Resolution" with me -- take the quiz, pick one or two things you plan to change, and we'll check back with each other periodically to see if it's happening!
1. Drive less, and possibly sell my car and relying solely on my feet, bike, and public transportation.
2. Air-dry at least half of all laundry loads (towels and sheets will still hit the dryer, since I have limited air-drying space in my weenie apartment, and sometimes cotton knit things just get way stretched out and need a trip in the dryer for reshaping.)
Let's do it!