A while ago, I saw on Instagram many people posting about an ecological footprint calculator and their results. Did you see it too? It looked like a fun test to pass!
The point of the exercice is to evaluate your carbon footprint so you have data you can rely on to define your next lifestyle changes. It is always good to know where you stand so you can measure progress and decide on the next step you can take. It is a rule in business and economics so it should also be one in terms of sustainability right?
I took that quiz but there are a few out there. The aime of the quizz is to tell you how many planet we would need if everyone on Earth was living like you. Curious to know about the experience? Read more!
This is how many earth we would need If everyone was living like me. I must admit that I was already stressed while taking the quiz but when I saw the results I felt so ashamed and guilty. I am already doing so so much to protect mother Earth: I am vegan, I stop buying, my lifestyle is minimal so I was in shock. I expected my number to be so much smaller.
After the shame, I compared myself to other people. If everyone was living like the average american, we would need 5 planets so that made me feel better.
When I caught those thoughts, I realised that it was not constructive and that I must change my approach. How could I improve that figure?
My nomad lifestyle was the issue.
After reviewing my score and the questions of the quizz, I realised that my main problem was that I do travel more than the average. The issue was not only that I flew this year but that I have no real home so no control over my housing. I can’t make my home more energy efficient because I do not own it. Downsizing my apartment or opting for LED lighting was not an option.
Being able to measure my impact and going through data opened my eyes. I am currently reflecting on other ways to reduce my ecological footprint based on those results.
Why Should You Use An Ecological Footprint Calculator?
If you are into sustainable living, you probably implement a certain number of actions to reduce your ecological footprint. The chances here that you also wonder what actions are more important than others and balance different possibilities. Maybe, just like me, you also struggle to measure your success, track your progress and stay motivated.
I found that the calculator offers a solution to those questions and problems. It allows you to:
- Realise there is a problem
- Measure your impact
- Track your progress
- Highlight the areas of your life where you could focus
- Gives you an idea about where to start or what next step you could take
I see it as a very useful tool, to quantify our efforts and reach our sustainable goals.
How Does The Calculator Work?
When you enter the quiz, you will be asked a serie of questions about your habits, such as:
- How often do you fly?
- If you drive or take public transportation?
- If your food comes in plastic packaging
- What is your diet like?
- How often you eat meat?
- If your house energy efficient?
Be honest in your answers, that is the most difficult part. I personally prefer underestimating my efforts so I don’t look at my score with too much satisfaction and see it as an opportunity to slow down.
At the end of the quiz, you will receive your results and be able to compare it to various international averages.
Make sure you step back and take a few minutes to think about your results. Where did you perform well? What could you improve? What should you work on first? What is the action you can take this week to improve?
I suggest you take the test once every 6 months or year so you can track your progresses.
Limitations Of This Ecological Footprint Calculator
While the quiz gave me food for thoughts and opened my eyes, I also think that it does not reflect all the efforts I put in to be more eco-friendly. Most of the questions refer to housing, travel and transportation. It does not take into consideration the fact that I do not buy fashion pieces anymore. You might wonder why? Because we have no real data about it so we cannot measure the real impact of the fashion industry on the environment.
I believe that if this factor was considered, I could score a little better. Buy anyway, that is not a competition. I see it as a reality check for ourselves. I am very decided to pursue my effort and to take another quizz a year from now.
Have you taken one of those quizzes? How did you react to your score?
I’d love you to share your results on insta and tag me @attitude.organic so we can brainstorm together.