As promised in the earlier post, here we are with some information on 'how does foot printing help the environmental cause and how you can get involved'.
Remember how we talked about standing on a beach in Goa and seeing the size of our feet. Just imagine how you would have been able to choose those beautiful and stylish shoes if you didn't know what size your feet were. So, what you will do is that you will buy random shoes and test them out at home. Some will be useful and some useless. What happens to the useless? The are just junked.
Same analogy can be employed in case of 'environmental footprint'. If you don't know your 'environmental foot' what kind of resources will you use? You will use (or at least try to use) random resources that catch your fancy. Some of them can be categorised 'can't do without' some 'can do without but like it'. Basically, some resources we need and some we don't (or don't need as much). So, what happens to the resources that we don't need? They are junked. This may be food, water, electricity, heat or any other resource that we use. Some of use run water through a pipe while we can wash our car with a bucket (or a couple of) of water. We run our ACs at minimum temperature and sleep in a blanket. We travel on SUVs (with 2Km/l average) while we have small cars (with 16-18 Km/l) average. In fact we travel in a car while we have the world's best metro trains.
Anyway, if we knew the effect that our resource consumption is having on the environment, we might think and act in a more sensible manner. So, by calculating our footprint we can understand how much water we use, what effect our energy use is having on the environment and other similar issues. So, sum it all its very important that we chose only the right size shoes (the one that we buy out of need and not greed) and to choose those we need to know the size of our feet (our footprint).
Now, to the next question. how can you get involved?
Simply by living a sustainable lifestyle. Each one of us can assess our footprints and try to keep it (or reduce it) to a minimum level of need. There are several websites which can help you do that. All of them may have a different methodology and hence your footprint may vary in each one but the may help you get an indication about you lifestyle and the need of reduction.
Here are a few websites (we will try to add a good widget for the purpose on the website in the coming days):
If you take the help of 'google god' you will be able to find many more such sites. Please let us know if you stumble upon something good.
Meanwhile, lets get our sizes measures and buy only the right shoes. Lets not leave behind us a junk pile of shoes for our kids to figure out.