Taking a deep dive into the contents of your trash bin may not have been the most appealing way to kick off our weekly challenges, but it was super enlightening, right?! We are still amazed by how a peek in the trash bin reveals exactly where to focus individual efforts.
For our week 2 challenge, we are shining the spotlight on another super eye-opening (and fun) way to learn about how your daily living impacts the planet —calculating your household’s ecological footprint. After completing this challenge, it will help you identify a few more priority action items for getting started on your low-impact living journey.
Right now you might be wondering, “What is an eco footprint”?
An eco footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas (including carbon dioxide and methane) that is generated by daily living. It includes actions like how much we drive, how much electricity we use, and what kinds of foods we choose to eat.
According to Statista, the average annual footprint for a person in the United States is nearly 15 tons! To have the best chance of avoiding a 2℃ rise in global temperatures, scientists have stated the average annual global carbon footprint per person needs to drop to under 2 tons by 2050.
There are many ecological footprint calculators out there, but the one available from the Global Footprint Network is our personal favorite. We love how interactive and simple this calculator is for determining your current footprint, and it’s so approachable that even kids can calculate their score.
Once you have your score, be sure to make a note of it. At the end of the year, you can recalculate your eco footprint to see how much progress you have made towards lowering your overall impact. We can’t wait to hear about the results!