Humans are interconnected with everything. Sometimes, it is hard for ourselves to think what kind of chain effects could be triggered by one simple act. Even simply eating a steak from Australia, the energy used in butchering, transporting, cooking would produce significant amount carbon footprint to change something incrementally on Earth.
Diagram 1-Lu’s Ecological Footprint in China
For myself, I always try to live as sustainable as I can back home, buying local products (food majorly), taking public transit and using bike-share. Even during traveling from cities to cities, I like to try local food. However, based on the ecological footprint results from the website (footprintnetwork.org), I still need to improve my lifestyle to endure a better future for our next generations. Apparently, my traveling behavior created certain amount of carbon emission, but the fast growing speed-train system in China would definitely create a better transportation option to lower my carbon footprint and for my future traveling consideration.
Diagram 2-Lu’s Ecological Footprint in US
An interesting footprint comparison, since in China I travelled more and had definitely more energy consumption at home. In US, I try to live a sustainable lifestyle as well, cycling as much as I can and taking the public transit, however, for the food, I may go to the big boxes most of the times. It is still hard for me to believe the ecological footprint I produce is much more here. Some assumptions have crossed my mind, maybe a lower ecological footprint in China is because the urban area has much higher density to make the use of the majority of service systems more efficient. Additionally, only certain amount of people are able to create much more ecological footprint, but anyhow, when it’s averaged to each person in China, the data collected per capita isn’t very accurate anymore. In other words, the final data is bring down by general public. Same argument in US, certain amount of people create more ecological footprint than the rest, which bring up the number per capita.
Anyhow, the ecological footprint data from the website won’t make too much sense until people start to realize and change their lifestyle to a low ecological footprint. For people already have a sustainable lifestyle, just don’t get depressed by the chart. What we are doing, is small but useful.