Visit the EPA Household Emissions Calculator and complete its questions to learn more about your environmental impact and the benefits of solutions:
• Section 1: Estimate your current total household emissions (from home energy use, vehicle use, waste).
• Section 2: Explore actions you can take to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste disposal costs.
• Section 3: See how much you can save (in dollars and emissions) by taking the actions you chose in Section 2.
What are the 3 everyday products and practices that contribute most to your environmental footprint?
2. What impacts might result if everyone in the world enjoyed the same lifestyle? For example, what might the impacts be on:
a. Earth’s climate?
b. The health of ecosystems and biodiversity?
c. Humanity’s natural resource base and thus economic security?
3. Identify solutions to each of the 3 components of your environmental footprint that you listed in question 2. What are the savings of BOTH carbon emissions and money you can achieve via each solution?
a. How much would this amount to if every household in America (roughly 100 million) did this?
b. If everybody did this, what might the impact on the health of our environment be? For example, how might these collective actions benefit our air and water quality? The health of the world’s forests?
c. How might these environmental improvements benefit human health and, in turn, our economy?
4. Does reducing the size of our footprint necessarily mean reducing our quality of life? Why or why not? Are there ways of enhancing quality of life while lowering impact?