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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What's YOUR Footprint?

No, not your shoe size. Your ecological footprint. I've taken the footprint quiz before...but Jessica's blog reminded me how much I love to try to lower my score. Right now, my footprint is at 5 acres. In comparison, the average footprint in the U.S. is 24 acres. Worldwide, there are enough resources for each person to have 4.5 acres.

So that puts me .5 over my "allotted" acres and now I must REDUCE so I can stop using up more than my share of the resources! Here are some other changes that I would like to make:
  • Eat a completely vegan diet. I have eaten a vegetarian diet for a little over 2 years now, but have gone back and forth between vegan and vegetarian. For those of you that don't know, a vegan is someone who eats no animal products at all (no milk, eggs, butter, etc.)
  • Walk more. This is a little harder in the wintry cold and ice...especially because our neighborhood is very hilly! I will implement this more in the summer. It's so easy because we are within walking distance to everything.
  • I have always wanted to use public transportation more. However, Des Moines has a really poor system. I have contacted the metro transit authority with route questions, etc. and I want to try it soon! I am definitely not used to riding the bus, so it will be an experience. It takes more time and planning, but I love the idea of it. Much more relaxing than driving myself. There is a possibility that we will park the bus this winter and become a one-car family again, so the bus may be a necessity!
  • Focus on buying only package-free foods and less processed foods. Right now our only "processed foods" are chips, bread, almond milk, and cereal. I'm not counting condiments. I would like to start making my own bread again, make my own almond milk more consistently, my own granola, and my own chips. Does anyone know of any good tortilla chip recipes!?
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... I am learning more about this everyday. I am actively reducing my belongings and I am reducing the amount coming in (The Compact). I am re-using plastic bags, jars, clothes, I use cloth everything in our household, and I recycle everything that is allowed.
  • I would like to be even more conscious of my energy and water consumption.
There will always be something to "work on" when you're living green...but that's what makes life fun!

Photo credit: Flickr/


Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Wow, you are amazing...

here's something to consider too... though our small efforts are important, the biggest consumers of energy are large buildings...

so getting involved in town/city politics to suggest "green buildings" is a huge contribution...

in our town, for instance, a new library is going up... but, it is "green"... including being heated and cooled like the termites heat and cool their nests (underground & solar components)

in Korea (I think that's the place), builders can only get permits for green buildings (to get otherwise is a real hassle)... wouldn't that be a great "step" in the right direction in our communities?

10/19/2006 4:57 AM  
Blogger angela said...

It is embarassing what my footprint is. I must reduce!! Oh, goodness...

10/19/2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger Gavrielah said...

How do you make almond milk?? I'd love to learn that. As for tortilla chips, all we do here is tear up a buch of tortillas into small pieces, sprinkle a little salt or cayenne pepper or whatever on them and put them in the oven on a low temp until they're all crispy. You're doing great though, Sara! I've got to get a handle on the transportation...

L.L.Barkat, whata great idea! I still need to focus on getting our home as green as possible (long way to go), but its true, we need to look into the larger community and try to affect change there as well.

10/19/2006 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you start to use the public transportation, see if you can get pre-paid tickets. We figured it out and my dh uses the bus for work and back 5 days a week. We can get a sheet of 10 pre-paid tickets for .40 each or he could pay cash both ways for .80 or he could get a monthly pass for $14. We discovered that even though the monthly pass seems like a good deal, he ends up saving money by buying the pre-paid tickets. Sometimes a little math makes it worth it.

10/19/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Heth said...

I'm a 9. I was suprised, I thought it would be more. I think that having 8 people living in under 1,000 sq feet is what saved my score. Now about all that meat I eat.... :D

You are doing awesome Sara. I'm so proud of you.

10/19/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Gavrielah...if you go to my food blog, I have the instructions for almond milk.

You'll love it!

10/19/2006 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

hi! This is Beth from Myspace! I love yr blog and I was wondering if you've read the cookbooks "More With Less" and "Simply In Season"? I think you'd really like them.

10/20/2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger Deeapaulitan said...

I buy organic yellow corn tortillas locally (she grows her corn and will even make them fresh for me right there if I ask), take them home (about 26 oz worth)Immerse them one at a time in very warm water. Let each drain back into the bowl briefly before laying them flat. Sprinkle each with a little salt. Cut them into 6-8 wedges. Place on a baking stone (or lightly evoo'd cookie sheet)closely, but don't overlap. Bake at 500F for 4 min. Then turn over and bake 3 more. Store in airtight container when cooled. 12c. (or so) Sometimes she adds spices to the tortillas she makes for me. Cayenne is our favorite.

10/22/2006 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an inspiring blog. I'm going to try the footprint quiz right now.

10/29/2006 10:35 AM  

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