My Main Contributing Factors:
- My diet: I eat a lot of meat, including beef, poultry, and dairy products.
- My housing: While I am not living in a single home, my roommates do not take any measures necessary to cut down on their energy bills.
- I do not usually eat locally grown foods and most of my foods are packaged and processed
- I never take public transportation. I drive a lot due to my where I live as compared to my job, internship and school.
- I rarely recycle because my apartment complex does not make it easy to recycle. It costs extra if you want a they to pick up recycling and there is not a recycling site nearby.
My New Global Footprint: 3.2
- I could only get my global footprint down to 3.2 because of the changes I was willing to make.
- I would like to use more public transportation but living in Gastonia makes that difficult to get where I need to be. I can move closer to some of these places I need to be but our public transportation here in Charlotte is minimal. I would actually like to be within biking/walking distance to a lot of things.
- I would like to have a hybrid car that allows me to go more than 40 miles per gallon and not have to drive nearly as far to my destinations. I would also like to carpool as much as possible.
- I would like to eat mostly unprocessed foods that are grown locally, but this is difficult when I do not live close to a farmer’s market nor do I usually have the time to cook meals for myself. I would also like to cut back on my meat consumption and eat more fruits and vegetables.
- I would love to recycle literally everything I can and only use recycled products. However, I am finding that difficult to accomplish.
- I would love to live in a green home where most of my energy, if not all of it, was from renewable resources. I would love to install solar panels on my roof, and make my home out of recycled products. I will cut back on energy use by unplugging things when not in use, turning off all lights that are not necessary, making sure I don’t have any water running, taking shorter showers, turning the AC higher in the Summer and lower in the Winter and just wearing the appropriate clothing, and opening windows during the day to let in natural light to warm my house naturally and closing them at night to stop heat from escaping.
I would recommend as a society that we try to eat less meat, eat more foods that are grown locally, recycle everything that can be recycled (and come up with ways to recycle more), use more public transportation and when that is not possible you should carpool, cut down on our manufactured goods, use more (and if possible only) renewable resources for energy, drive more fuel efficient cars and try to ride a bike or walk whenever possible, live in smaller, more ecofriendly homes and take measures to cut down on overall energy consumption like adjusting the thermostat for more energy efficiency and taking shorter showers. But while all of this seems nice and could be easy to start doing, many socioeconomic factors stand in the way. Living green is not cheap for most people because we haven’t made the necessary steps to make it more affordable. Therefore, eating locally, especially while on food stamps can be difficult for a lot of people. The food is more expensive and a lot of farmer’s markets do not accept food stamps or WIC. This means that these people need to shop at grocery stores which usually do not have a high selection of locally grown, unprocessed foods and the ones that do are usually very expensive. Recycling, as I mentioned before, can be difficult for a lot of people if they do not have access to recycling bins or do not know how to go about getting one. Also, there are a lot of things that cannot be recycled and this can lead to some confusion and may become too difficult for some people so they stop trying. Taking public transportation would be nice but at least here in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, we do not have a very good public transportation system. Bus stops are not always near some places you need or want to be and don’t cover a lot of people. Cars are expensive and the more fuel efficient a car is, the more expensive it can be. Most people cannot currently afford a new car so they are stuck with less fuel efficient cars and even when people can afford new cars, usually maintenance on hybrid cars is more expensive, although you do save a lot of money on gas. For the people that cannot afford cars, you have the options of bikes, which can be expensive and most people would prefer to get a ride. Not only that but riding a bike in a city like Charlotte can be dangerous. We do not have a lot of bike lanes for people are forced to either ride on the sidewalks, which puts pedestrians in danger or they are forced to ride on the rode in traffic and a lot of people in Charlotte do not have respect for the people in their bikes. Renewable energy is more expensive currently so many companies do not offer it. We still need to do a lot of research on renewable resources and make it equivalent to the price of non-renewable resources but I do ot see that happening in the near future. Some people have the option of making their homes more green by having energy efficient appliances and by installing solar panels but both of the options can be very expensive and many people do not see the point in paying more.