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|Putting her big foot down
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All that doesn't add up to much on the scale. On the other side, there's this: Heat gushes out of our house. We've had to set up a space heater in our daughter's bedroom,[url=http://woolrichoutletde.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Outlet[/b][/url], which almost doubles our monthly electricity use. We drive to Georgian Bay most summer weekends. I have a weakness for rotisserie chicken. And I can be lazy as all get-out. I still haven't changed all my light bulbs to compact fluorescents,[url=http://duveticavestesfr.halod.com/][b]Doudoune Duvetica Femme online[/b][/url], despite all the reasons to switch.
In the end, I fare slightly better than average. The Canadian lifestyle requires 7.6 hectares of land and water a year - 5.4 hectares more than the global average,[url=http://woolrichoutletde.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Damen Parka[/b][/url], which at 2.2. is itself "unsustainable," according to the 2006 assessment by the Global Footprint Network and the World Wildlife Fund.
That makes us the fourth biggest gluttons in the world, after only the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Finland.
Each of us consumes as many resources as three Chileans and - get this - 76 Afghans. By 2003, the planet was devouring 25 per cent more resources than it could produce. It's only gotten worse since then.
I'm tethered by the system we live in, which, as William Rees points out, runs on consumption. He's the University of British Columbia professor who pioneered the concept of an ecological footprint.
We truck our food in from California and Mexico. Our homes weren't built to save heat and our appliances were made to vacuum up energy - a lot of it from coal-fired generating plants,[url=http://cheapsoccercleatswithfreeshipping.webmium.com/][b]soccer cleats for sale cheap[/b][/url]. Many of our electronics cost more to make than we pay.
To have a major impact, we need to act collectively. But there is still room for the individual.
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Ten years ago, it was almost impossible to get an energy saving dishwasher. Today,[url=http://woolrichoutletde.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Deutschland Outlet[/b][/url], you have your pick. "If we have enough people saying `I want to live in a walkable community,' that allows us to pressure the government to plan for walkable communities instead of sprawl,[url=http://parajumpersparkamen.webmium.com/][b]http://parajumpersparkamen.webmium.com/[/b][/url]," says Chris Winter,[url=http://giuseppezanottiweddingshoes.webmium.com/][b]http://giuseppezanottiweddingshoes.webmium.com/[/b][/url], executive director of the Conservation Council of Ontario. His job is to get more of us to conserve, by promoting energy-saving services and technology.
Winter's footprint is 5.6 hectares - a whole hectare less than mine. But he doesn't own a car and I don't plan on selling mine. (My husband would be very,[url=http://discountparajumperssaleonlinestore.webmium.com/][b]http://discountparajumperssaleonlinestore.webmium.com/[/b][/url], very angry). I'm also not going to pull a Walden, moving out of my house to a small plot of land where I could sow beans like Henry David Thoreau.
What should my goal be as I stay in the city and continue my hectic schedule as a reporter, wife and mom?
Rees says it's possible without systemic change to get down to 4 hectares. Glenn De Baeremaeker - the city's waste czar, who bikes 21 kilometres to and from work and never eats meat - scored 4.2 hectares.
The three areas of my life that require close examination and perhaps painful re-engineering are food,[url=http://giuseppezanottiweddingshoes.webmium.com/][b]giuseppe zanotti Designer Wedding Shoes Online[/b][/url], transit and my home's electricity bill.
I'm also interested in examining the impact of other things not measured in the 14-question calculator. What happens if I naturalize my front lawn? If I stop using plastic bags, will it make an iota of difference? What about the Comet under my kitchen sink?