A few months ago, I attended the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City. The keynote speaker, Saul Griffith, the founder of Instructables, a very cool DIY user collaborative website, shared what he learned from measuring his personal energy consumption for a year. Griffith said, “Measure what is measurable, make measurable what is not.” I found his speech, incredibly important because it accentuated how individuals can make a measurable difference. Watch it here.
Griffith and his partners created an online tool called Wattzon. This tool quantifies, tracks and compares the total amount of energy needed to support all of the facets of your lifestyle with the goal of helping you find ways to reduce your personal power consumption.
How would you go about measuring your ecological footprint? I went in search of answers and found the organization, Path to Freedom. Founded by Jules Dervaes in 2001, Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, viable urban homesteading project established to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and reduce one family’s “footprint” on the earth’s dwindling resources.
Path to Freedom explains, “Your ecological footprint is the amount of land it takes to support your way of life, your lifestyle. An ecological footprint is a concept based on how much land and water area a human population would need to provide the resources required to sustainably support itself and to absorb its wastes, given prevailing technology.”
Path to Freedom provides this handy selection of calculators (below) to help individuals see how their lifestyle choices add up. Here at the EcoNest we are highly ecologically-minded, but some of the results were eye-opening. I’m reevaluating how I can make a measurable difference with my own family’s ecological footprint.
How do you measure up? Take some of these quizzes and questionnaires to see if you are shocked or satisfied with the imprint of your personal carbon footprint. Kindly, share your thoughts about the results in the comments box.
How Big is Your Footprint?
MyFootprint – How many Earths would be needed if everyone on the planet enjoyed your standard of living?
Commute Calculator – How much do you spend on your commute? It may be more than you think. Use the calculator to find out the cost of a drive-alone commute.
CarbonFootprintCalculator – Flash-based calculator that determines how many tons of C02 you produce with your lifestyle.
PersonalGreenhouseGasCalculator – Use this online calculator to obtain an estimate of your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Pesticides In Food – Use the FoodNews Produce Scanner to see how many and which pesticides likely came along for the ride from the market.
Care 2′s Are You Toxic Quiz - On a weighted scale of burdens; toxicity is a ton of bricks. It has the potential to undermine the balance of every system in the body. Answer these questions to determine your level of toxicity.
The National Water Footprint – is calculated based on the total volume of water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the nation.
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.
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