Discussion time

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You have been learning in this module that there is more that each of us can do to help save biodiversity and restore the environment by being more thoughtful and educated about the choices we make when eating, shopping for food, cloths, household items, traveling, etc.

Have you ever wondered what is your household’s carbon footprint? Do you think that there might be some easy changes in your lifestyle that could reduce your carbon footprint while you do your part in helping our planet recover and making a good example in your neighborhood/community?

This discussion measures Module Outcome 2.

For this discussion, you will “stand in your truth” and estimate your (or your household) carbon footprint. You will then explore some actions that can reduce your footprint.

Use this carbon footprint calculator found on the Nature Conservancy (TNC) website and powered by the CoolClimate Network at the University of California at Berkeley

Make sure you complete all the steps:

Get Started – Travel – Home – Food – Shopping – Your Footprint – Take Action

You will see an estimate of your actual footprint in tons of carbon dioxide emitted by your household per year. You will also see an average of what other similar households in your area emit and also a percentage of how much your footprint is above or below that average. (Feel free to share these results in this discussion board if you would like.)

Next, run at least three different scenarios (for example where you make changes in the number of calories of the different food categories or reduce the car mileage while increasing public transportation mileage or how much you spend on cloths or appliances per month etc.). Note how your footprint changes and compares with similar households in your area.

Also, explore the list of options in the “Take Action” section of this footprint calculator and see how much you may reduce your footprint, the money saved, and the upfront cost of each change. Are any of these life style changes feasible for you and your family to implement in order to reduce your footprint? Know that there are a lot of different things that you and your family can do that couldn’t fit in a footprint calculator and starting small may be the best way for some of us. For example, here is another list (put together by the United Nations) of ways to be part of the solution for saving the planet and living more sustainably.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has a list of actions to reduce your footprint and which would help you protect your health from climate change: Reducing your carbon footprint can be good for your health [PDF, File Size 446 KB].


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