How Many Earths Would We Need?

Happy Earth Day!
I don't know about you, but I am constantly finding ways to be kinder to our planet. Sometimes, I get lazy and take the easy way out, but I do try hard to keep our planet a nice place, mostly since becoming a mom. Before that, I was selfish and didn't care too much how big my ecological footprint was. Now that I know my kids (and following generations) will have to live with the Earth the way we leave it, I'm concerned. I'm concerned in a lot of ways and could write pages and pages on such topics. I'll save that for another day.
Some of the Earth-friendly things we do:

  • Cloth Diaper.
  • Use family cloth/cloth napkins/towels instead of paper towels.
  • Our meat/dairy consumption is very low. We even ate plant-based for 3 months.
  • When given the choice, we choose local. Hard to do in the winter months though.
  • If it is nice and we aren't travelling far, we walk.
  • We consume minimal processed foods.
  • I shower every other day at max. The kids share a bath, 1-2 times a week.
  • We painted our house with VOC-free paint.
  • Our old/unwanted items go to Goodwill, not the garbage can.
  • We also buy a lot of things second hand. Mostly clothes and toys.
  • We avoid chemical use (personal care items, cleaning products, plastic storage, lawn and garden care, etc).
  • In the nicer time of the year, I try to line dry our laundry.
My motivators! Yeah, yeah, another bath picture.

We are far from perfect. I took a quiz to find out my ecological footprint and found out if everyone lived like me, we would need 3.2 Planet Earths. Yikes!

One thing we could definitely improve on is recycling! Our town doesn't have a recycling program so if we want to recycle we would have to sort and haul our own stuff and that happens rarely. Compared to our neighbors on trash day though, we really have very little trash.
Just remember, reduce and reuse come first. Know that recycling is last resort and probably not as effective as you assume. Buy in bulk or choose your packaging wisely. Bringing your own bag to the store is NOT the same as choosing plastic bags and then recycling them later. I think too many people think recylcing is the solution to all our problems. If you are one of those people, I highly recommend the documentary Bag It. If you aren't one of those people, still, watch the movie!
We could also improve by:

  • Actually remembering our reusable bags when we go shopping.
  • Finding local, grass-fed/pastured meat and eggs. Currently working on this!
  • Planting a successful garden. Not knowing where we will be living soon, this one is going to be hard this year.
  • Keeping our house a little less comfortable in the summer months. We like it cool.
You should take the quiz, find it {here}.
How many Earths would it take if everyone lived like you? I want to know!
What are some things you want to improve on?


EJR said…
I didn't do near as bad as I thought it would be: 5.4 Earths.

If we actually had the option to line-dry, walk most places & use only 1 car I'm sure ours would be better, but it's just not in the cards right now.

This was fun, thanks!
Heather said…
I love this post! Sounds like you do an amazing job already :) We cloth diaper, follow a vegan diet, and try to reuse/recycle as much as we can.

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