On average, our group achieved a rating of 4.7 Earths needed to sustain our style of living. Much of this is due to the fact that we are restrained in our ability to be more environmentally aware; we cannot change where the dining halls decide to get their food or where it comes from. In the dorms, we cannot alter where the energy comes from, but we do have control over the amount of waste that we can recycle. Despite not being able to make momentous changes to our lifestyles, we can make small changes such as recycling waste, taking the bus instead of our cars, and reducing the amount of electricity we use by unplugging unused devices. To increase our awareness and help develop tactics, there are many online resources we can use to become more environmentally conscious. Here are some examples: http://www.instructables.com/id/100-Ways-to-Reduce-Your-Impact/?ALLSTEPS,
Primarily, the consequences stem from the possibility that these changes will cause an inconvenience in our daily lives. Generally being more environmentally aware does not have many consequences besides being inconvenient or more expensive. As college students, we often times do not have the funds to make our appliances more “green” or to buy foods that are locally grown and are more expensive. If given the opportunity most college students would tend to pick the more environmental options
Many countries have started the transition to sustainability. For instance, Sweden practices many sustainable habits and routines. Not only do the Swedes instill core values of green living into the children, they also lead the EU in the consuming of organic foods and the utilization of second hand, vintage clothing markets. Sweden has been researching new technology for sustainable living, and Swedish architects have been investigation the idea of sustainable, green cities. This move has greatly decreased their ecological footprint and brought to light many new ways to conserve and uphold sustainable living.These values are outlined in this article: https://sweden.se/nature/sustainable-living/.
When we all tried to change to the opposite of what we did, transportation became a much larger issue than previously assumed. In America, where we are a suburbian central, most of the people who work in a city or near it do not have the option or opportunity to walk or take public transportation, so Americans tend to drive most of the time. If the USA would take any of the transportation advances that Paris did (http://www.euractiv.com/sections/climate-environment/paris-ecological-footprint-decline-318567) which reduced their ecological footprint by 13.8% in the past ten years, then America could be reducing their giant footprint drastically.
Out of curiosity, our group decided to re-take the quiz by putting the opposite of what we would normally put, and our average became 18.8 Earths needed to sustain our lifestyles. By evaluating the various categories that altered our scores so significantly, we discovered that mobility often had a large role in the size of the footprint. By changing hours flown from zero to one hundred hours, 1.8 additional Earths were needed to sustain us. The number of hours driven and number of people that we drove with also made a significant impact on the number of Earths needed; by reducing our emissions, we can reduce our footprint by a considerable amount. As Jonathon Porritt explained in his TedxTalk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39bPjnFBt-o) prices for various commodities have increased over six fold, yet there have been no wars or comments made by such an increase; humanity itself hasn’t noticed how much of an increase that developments in technology and negligence in our sustainability cause on the size of the footprint that we make.