My Environmental Impact

Two weeks ago, I rarely thought of my impact on the environment. I always thought that one person couldn’t really make a difference. In these past two weeks, however, I’ve become acutely aware of my impact on the world. According to the article “Quantifying Carbon Footprint Reduction Opportunities for U.S. Households and Communities”, households in suburban areas have a much larger energy footprint than larger city areas (ACS Publications). This struck me as surprising, but believable. As a suburban dweller, I now realize all the times I leave the lights turned on, keep the water running, throw the recycling in the trash. I do own a car, but to make up for the dire impact of suburbs and myself on the environment, I take the train and CTA bus every day in an effort to conserve fuel and reduce emissions. Anne Spirn’s “City and Nature” makes the compelling point that cities do not often concur with nature, but often work against it, although working alongside nature has many benefits. To counter this, I have a garden at home in which I grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and mint leaves. There are many small things, however, that I do that harm the environment. The article “10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green” has comprised a list of activities which can be done in order to be more “green”. By eating healthier, taking shorter showers, borrowing products instead of buying (such as books from libraries), we can save not only the environment, but also a large amount of money (World Watch Institute). I realize that I can use a reusable water bottle instead of buying the plastic ones that I do, and bike to the train station instead of drive like I do, and take short showers instead of the long ones that I take. By taking up these habits, I will be doing my part in aiding the environment.

References:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es102221h

http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green

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