My Ecological Footprint and the Impact On the Earth’s Surface

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Often people live their lives without thinking of the good or bad actions taken throughout history on the earth’s surface. It has been mentioned time and time again that humans shamelessly go day to day living in the moment ignoring their ecological footprint and the negative impact on the earth’s surface. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Green Council Designation there are three reasons to go green: for the environment, for the savings, and for your health (Green Resource Council, 2014). With a focus on these generalizations, this paper will demonstrate that society can further progress the movement with the goal to reduce consumption without limiting accustomed lifestyles. Also, the real question lies with addressing the desired outcome. By going green worldwide we are better off for years to come.

For The Environment

The impact humans have on the environment today will dictate how the future generations live their lives. From the types of food available to the quality of air we breathe, our combined actions already have shown signs of deterioration. Of course, research on both spectrums have opposite conclusions although it is the duty of all to address the potential benefits of going green and understand the social benefits of a worldwide deep rooted understanding of phenomenon.

Green products and services often cost more than alternatives. Are we really helping the environment when we purchase them or are we being “green-washed?” If confusion leads to inaction, surely the first step towards living with more sustainability is being well informed (Alumnni UBC, 2014).

An ecological footprint has emerged as one of the world’s leading measures of human demand on nature which addresses whether the planet is large enough to keep up with the demands of humanity (Foot Print Network, 2014). It is designed to breakdown the barrier of the unknown effects on the earth’s surface and begins to educate society demonstrating what is required to produce goods and services today.

According to Earth Day Network through their Ecological Footprint Quiz—which assesses how many planets it takes to maintain an individual’s lifestyle—my personal number was 4.7. After conducting research as to why it appears I am over the average of 3.58, it has become apparent the home I live in, the vehicle I own and commute to work in, along with the types of food I eat, are three of the main problems. Furthermore, it takes 9.9 global hectares of the earth’s productive area to support my lifestyle, which in turn proves well above average.

Unfortunately, the score resembles what I would assume is many Canadian lifestyles. Larger than required homes, gas-guzzling vehicle driving long distances in traffic, and processed food to feed the masses combined create most of the problem. With a great appreciation for the earth we must now begin to change our approach to find alternatives without compromising lifestyle. With technology, private and government funded investment innovation we all can make changes that will at least make us feel like we are contributing to a just cause. The environmental impact that each human has on the earth’s surface is clear and research has highlighted the ice melting worldwide as the easiest of concepts to understand. The real question remains whether this is a life cycle or because of human action.

For The Savings

Becoming aware and conscious of the everyday decisions one makes is an important first step. Ironically enough, there are good lifestyle habits that I have implemented recently that will have a drastic impact on my personal number. It is clear that the course has been designed to create a “think tank mentality” where we must start to question our daily routines and begin to take action. Through research it is clear that there are immediate steps that can be taken to remedy the issue. For example, going green in your household through building material, energy star renovation, changing lighting fixtures, converting to solar and other options can increase the home’s value, reduce monthly utility cost, receive government grants as compensation and provide better quality air for occupants. With saving up to 99%, going green can change your mindset as Sigmund Jahn, a German Cosmonaut describes: “Only when I saw the Earth from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that humankind’s most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations.”

Although it is not associated with my daily number it is important to note that corporations also have a footprint. For example, I own RE/MAX Citywide Realty, and as a corporation we have invested money and are now on the verge of going paperless. This will dramatically change the landscape of our operations, improving agent/administration communication, statistical reports for shareholders, and the public perception of the company.

For Your Health

There is nothing more important than your health. Most people overlook this simple aspect of life but spiritually, mentality, and being physically in tune allows you to better deal with stress in your life. Furthermore, it has the ability to train your mind so bad habits can be kicked and your lifestyle can be improved. What I have realized is that small changes to my daily routine can in fact contribute to my overall well being. In altering your conventional lifestyle:

It’s difficult to watch the environment affecting human health and not feel spurred to change. But many people still fail to see the correlation between our actions and its effects on us, due to denial or simple unawareness of our relationship with the natural world. Over time our natural bodies have grown accustomed to living in a natural environment. It has only been in the last century or so that we’ve experimented with living in an inorganic world (Sustainable Baby Steps, 2014).

I have taken these steps from basic to drastic changes including but limited to leaving the car at home after work, focusing on purchasing organic and local foods, eliminating processed/pre-packaged foods, and the conscious decision to ask the right questions.

Ending Thoughts

With increased human disease and illnesses on the rise it is obvious living in this inorganic world has played a key role in this transformation. Living within the Earth’s Budget is vital to human survival and maintains the synergies of feeling good while helping out. With a clear mind the body is a powerful tool.

 

Resources
(2014). Help Stop The Go Green Go Paperless Bus. TwoSides. Retrieved from http://twosidesus.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/help-stop-the-go-green-go-paperless-bus/

(2014). Greening Business. Earthshare. Retrieved from http://www.earthshare.org

(2014). Green. Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/

Skanska (2014). Outeach. Sustainability. Retrieved from http://www.stakeholderforum.org

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Ian M. Charlebois, Masters in Real Estate c.
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2015: Ian was nominated by his industry peers and Real Estate Professional Magazine editors selected him as one of the Top 50 most influential individuals in Canadian real estate today.

2014: Ian was named REALTOR® Magazine’s first Non-U.S. 30 Under 30 Honoree