Friday, August 06, 2004

2.8 Earths

If everyone lived like I do, we'd need 2.8 Earths to supply all the resources. My ecological footprint is 12 acres; half that of the average American, but still high. I use the fewest resources in transit, because I rely on public transit and my feet to get around, don't own a car and am almost never in a car by myself. My greatest impact is in shelter, but I don't have a lot of control over that right at the moment. I try to conserve energy as much as possible but am at the mercy of my building management's choices as to the type of fuel used for heating, when and how high the heat is turned on, etc. The area of greatest impact where I have the most control is definitely food. I'm vegetarian, but eat lots of dairy. That's unlikely to change. I try to avoid overly-packaged foods, but will definitely try to improve even more. The biggest change I could make in my eating habits would be to eat more locally-grown produce. As my tastes have become more cosmopolitan, my food has had to travel farther to reach my plate. For example, I am used to having fruit in the winter, which often means it has traveled from South America, so I am indirectly consuming large quantities of fuel to support my eating habits.

On Tuesday, I am going to visit my neighborhood's CSA: Community Supported Agriculture. If I like what I see, I'll buy a share and help support farmers upstate. In turn, I will get a weekly delivery of organic, locally-grown, minimally-packaged vegetables and fruits. Good for me, the farmers, the earth.


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