Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, view video “The Ecological Footprint Explained” (Links to an
The ecological footprint is a tool for helping us to visualize the impacts we make on the environment. In this
week’s class discussion, you will have the opportunity to learn more about how connected you are to the
ecosystems and biosphere that you inhabit.
In a course-long project beginning this week, you will take on the challenge of lessening your impacts on the
environment through reducing the size of your ecological footprint. Specifically, you will identify possible
lifestyle changes that would reduce the amount of resources you use and/or the amount of carbon dioxide
emissions that you produce. In a course-long experiment, you will determine whether or not it is possible to
make a measurable difference in your environmental impact through a few simple actions in your daily life. The
first step, of course, is to determine your ecological footprint right now. To do that, you will calculate three
footprints: an overall ecological footprint that takes most of our daily behaviors into consideration; a carbon
footprint that focuses on our daily carbon emissions that are contributing to global climate change; and a water
footprint that assesses daily water use.