Quiz 1: Environmental Problems,their Causes,and Sustainability

Environmental Science

I believe that I am living somewhat sustainably, but not completely. I recycle paper, plastic and glass products. My hot water is heated by solar electricity; and, I drive a hybrid car. I use cloth grocery bags and grow many of my own fruits and vegetables. The three most environmentally unsustainable parts of my life are the use of pesticides for my garden, owning more than one car, and using electricity to heat my home. Two ways in which I could make my lifestyle more environmentally sustainable would be: • Reliance on solar energy - (1) I could convert my entire home to solar electric; (2) I could install a wind turbine to pump my well water. • Biodiversity - (1) I could substitute natural pest controls for my current use of pesticides to protect beneficial insects from being killed; (2) I could support conservation of habitat efforts of local environmental groups. • Nutrient Cycling - (1) I can use less chemical fertilizers that can leach into the soil; (2) I can recycle all metals and old paints to keep lead and other heavy metals from getting into the groundwater.

Ecological footprint can be described as the best use of renewable resources without any wastes and pollution. It says that resource should be used that much as is required also recycling the wastes to the maximum possible extent. The ecological footprint in the given website is larger than what I was expecting. This is so because the climatic zone, size of house and all the other factors are important. As per my current report if my living behavior remains the same, we would require 3.37 Earth. Three ways to reduce ecological footprints are: 1. Add energy saving devices at home. 2. Choose sustainable building materials, furniture and cleaning material. 3. Adopt water saving habits. After using all these steps for a week my ecological footprint has reduced to 1.27 Earth. If I will keep following the ways to remove ecological footprint, I'm sure it will reduce to nil. We would be able to save our earth and so our resources. We need to live in sustainable way to preserve resources for future. It's not only an obligation but our duty to preserve our environment and renewable resources for future generations and to other forms of life as well.

United Kingdom and United States are the two countries that have largest ecological deficits. These countries have largest deficit because the resources are wasted, and the pollution is very high. The ecological footprint is larger than its current biological capacity. In other words, the people are living in a very unsustainable way by depleting the renewable resources. The population growth needs to be controlled. In the U.S. the ecological footprint has exceeded the earth's ecological capacity by 88%.