I’ll start with some general information that will help you better understand this important subject.
The Human Ecological Footprint describes the area of biologically productive land and water that
is required to reproduce human resources and the absorption of waste generated by it.
The main type of waste is carbon dioxide i.e. the carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is 70% and is not generated by
industrial enterprises, but by human everyday life. So maybe it’s time to think what we can do about it?
Did you know that in Europe there is a city, or rather an area, which has a zero carbon footprint?
This is the Vastra Hamnen area in Malmo, Sweden. All houses here are built from environmentally friendly materials.
Gardens are laid out on the rooftops and that allows for a reduction in noise insulation. It also keeps heat in very well.
There are no cars on the streets. Absolutely none! They are parked outside the residential area of the district and,
if necessary, people use bicycles or they go on foot to them. The region also creates its own energy,
which is generated with the help of solar panels and wind turbines and a special system cools houses in summer and warms
them in winter — an outstanding city!
If anyone is interested, you can easily find a footprint calculator on the internet. With it,
you can find out how washing, cooking and other household chores affect the environment. It is very interesting…
Here’s what you can do now
To start reducing your footprint and waste:-
- Save energy. Yes, replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, for example, can give tangible results.
There are some interesting statistics. If only all families living in North America switched from incandescent
to energy efficient, the reduction in emissions into the atmosphere would be the same as if 1.3 million cars disappeared
from the roads.
- Buy groceries in large packages, not several small ones.
- Get a water bottle instead of buying a new 0.5L every time.
- It’s a great idea to go to a coffee shop with your own cup. Unfortunately, this is not popular everywhere yet.
- You can try making pots from milk cartons and milk bags by cutting them down and use them for growing, for example, microgreens.
By changing a couple of habits, you can also:-
Noticeably reduce your food waste and food footprint.
Food waste is any disposal of food that was suitable or formerly suitable for human consumption which has spoiled or
expired, mainly due to economic behaviour, poor management or neglect of their stocks (Wikipedia).
- Try to arrange vegetarian days for yourself and your family — at least once a week. Do you know why? Because meat production
requires a lot more energy and other resources than plant foods do. Some experts even believe that a beef lover’s
carbon footprint is much higher than that of a motorist!
- Plan your purchases. Eat whatever is in the fridge first.
- Think about how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners you need to buy groceries for. Don’t just shop.
- Check your fridge more often and cook with what is in there at the moment.
- Composting is a great idea. To create compost, only natural waste is used for example, potato peelings, left-over vegetables, etc.
And do not forget to periodically stir up the compost with a trowel or pitchfork. You will be rewarded with excellent natural fertilizer.
And finally, on YouTube, you can find many videos on how to grow a full-fledged plant from food waste.
And most importantly, it’s free. A garden like this can be grown even in a city apartment.
The famous florist, or as she is also called — the flower fairy, Sara Rihanen, went further.
After the celebrations, where her flower arrangements were used, she collects the bouquets which have withered,
and takes them to her farm. There she uses these bouquets as fertilizer. We can do that too.
«The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step» (Chinese proverb.) I’m going to take this first step — I hope you do too.