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What Is Your Ecological Footprint?

Jessica Houlihan
Do It Green! Magazine

Every person, through basic life decisions, has the ability to affect their surroundings. One’s attitude can rub off on others, one’s choices can inspire people around them and one’s daily decisions affect the environment. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, “just as owning a broom so you can clean up after yourself is part of the cost of owning a home, so pollution control is part of the cost of living.” Identifying environmental problem areas in your home and life can help you control the amount of pollution you cause and thus more positively impact your surroundings. One way to do this is to measure your ecological footprint.
An ecological footprint is defined as the amount of impact a person has on the environment. Ecological impact is a collection of many different factors but focus on three keys elements:

Emissions

Transportation choices play a big role in the amount of carbon dioxide created as does household fuel usage.

Water Usage

Limiting the amount of ground water used to water your garden and lawn as well as reusing water by capturing rain water or even reusing cooking water.

Waste

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling to reduce waste at home. Composting organic vegetable, paper and yard waste. Buying food with less packaging and using reusable containers and recycling all the materials that are accepted in your area.

Calculate your carbon impact and commit to ways to reduce your impact in these three areas by reading on to get specific ideas, resources and information to make changes at home.

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