Friday, 19 October 2007

One World, One Environment

8PBr (or those of them who hadn't disappeared off on holiday already anyway!) had a great end to their Environmental Issues unit this morning with a videoconference on "sustainability".

We linked up via Global-Leap in London with a lady called Mary Gower at the Centre for Alternative Technology in southern Snowdonia, and talked about resources, conflict, water, deforestation, Fairtrade, carbon footprinting, eco-footprinting and lots more. I particularly liked Mary's definition of sustainability - "treating the planet as though we intend to stay" - rather simpler than some of the others I've seen, but conveys the concept quite clearly!

The website that Mary mentioned where you can calculate your eco-footprint is here There are lots of other eco-footprint and carbon footprint calculators online as well - this one from the WWF is quite good . I like to think that I am quite good in terms of recycling, switching off lights and appliances, using energy-saving lightbulbs, etc. BUT my eco-footprint according to the first quiz is 1.9 planets, and 2.7 planets according to the WWF one... both smaller than the UK average - but bigger than they should be!! The main reasons, I think, are driving to work, living by myself and not being vegetarian...

As for the Centre for Alternative Technology... I haven't managed to get there yet, but am quite keen to go and check it out (I've been told there's a fantastic café and bookshop there!!)... Have a look at their website by clicking on the banner below...

Work out your footprint and leave a comment to let us know what it was and how you are going to reduce it (if you need to!)... And if you've been to the C.A.T., tell us all about it!


Anonymous said...

I tried it out and turns out my carbon footprint is 8.3 hectares.
Is that bad??
Tom Irvine

Miss Ellis said...

Is that for you or for your household Tom???

Given that Mary told us that there is 1.8 hectares of biologically productive land per person, it looks like you are using a bit more than your fair share!!

The big question is, what are you going to do to try and reduce it?

Anonymous said...

that is alltogether.
To reduce it i could carpool more and see where my food is coming from.
There is loads of ways i could reduce it.
I took that test so i could get a general idea of my carbon footprint and over the next couple of weeks i will try to reduce it.
Tom irvine

Anna.S said...

I know that it's months ago so this blog was posted but i thought i'd add my carbon footprint.
Mine is 6.58 tonnes per year, which is an awful lot. Thats 3.22 hectares of land, just for me. Well thats going to change for certain, having that on your conscience isn't nice. Whats your carbon footprint Miss Ellis?

Miss Ellis said...

I've just done it again Anna, and it's still 1.9 planets - 3.2 hectares.

It is more than it should be, but good that it's lower than average in the UK!

What are you going to do to reduce it?

I wonder how Tom is getting on?!

Anna.S said...

I don't know really. I recycle everything (paper, card, foil, plastic, bags etc). I'll try and not rely on my mum driving me everywhere. That may help.
Why don't you become a vegetarian, that may help you? Ever thought of doing that?

Miss Ellis said...

I was Anna, for 11 years. Although I do eat meat now, I don't eat it that often, and when I do, it is organic, free-range and as local as possible.

As I said before, I think the main reasons for my carbon footprint being higher than it should be are driving most places, and living by myself (albeit in a fairly little house).