Discussion due in 7 hours

Discussion due in 7 hours
 
Ecological Footprints [WLO: 3] [CLOs: 3, 6]
 
Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, view video The Ecological Footprint Explained (Links to an external site.). The ecological footprint is a tool for helping us to visualize the impacts we make on the environment. In this week’s class discussion, you will have the opportunity to learn more about how connected you are to the ecosystems and biosphere that you inhabit.
 
In a course-long project beginning this week, you will take on the challenge of lessening your impacts on the environment through reducing the size of your ecological footprint. Specifically, you will identify possible lifestyle changes that would reduce the amount of resources you use and/or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that you produce. In a course-long experiment, you will determine whether or not it is possible to make a measurable difference in your environmental impact through a few simple actions in your daily life. The first step, of course, is to determine your ecological footprint right now. To do that, you will calculate three footprints: an overall ecological footprint that takes most of our daily behaviors into consideration; a carbon footprint that focuses on our daily carbon emissions that are contributing to global climate change; and a water footprint that assesses daily water use.
 
Part A: Ecological Footprint
 
Use the footprint tool from the web page What Is Your Ecological Footprint? (Links to an external site.) to calculate your ecological footprint. At every opportunity, please select the “add details to improve accuracy” option. At the end of the footprint activity, make a note of how many Earths would be required if everyone lived like you. Then click on “see details” to obtain the following information:
 
Your ecological footprint, in global hectares (a hectare is about 2.5 acres).
 
Your top three consumption categories.
 
Finally, research some ways you might reduce your footprint, identifying a few specific ones that you might put into practice throughout the course.
 
Part B: Household Carbon Emissions Footprint
 
Next, use the Carbon Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.) to calculate your household carbon emissions footprint. After answering all the questions,
 
Make a note of your carbon emissions footprint in pounds. Is that above or below the average household carbon footprint in the US?
 
Explore specific actions you might take to reduce your footprint. Which of them might be practical to undertake in the next five weeks?
 
Part C: Water Footprint
 
Finally, use the Water Footprint Calculator (Links to an external site.) to calculate your daily water footprint. After answering all the questions,
 
Make a note of your gallons-per-day water footprint.
 
Record the top three contributors to it.
 
Scroll down the page to access a series of “Tips” buttons you can click on for advice on reducing your footprint. Again, make a note of some specific ideas you see that might be practical to implement over the next five weeks.
 
Discussion Post Requirements
 
Your discussion should include all the information you gathered about your consumption habits from your three footprint calculations, including all numbers with units.
 
Footprint Table
 
 Week 1ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTHectares:       # Earths:  Top 3 Consumption Categories:   CARBON FOOTPRINTCarbon Emissions (lbs): WATER FOOTPRINTGallons per day: Top 3 Contributors:   
 
Copy the table above and paste into your post, then add your data for each category.  You can also access the Footprint Table here. Then, in a well-crafted post of at least 200 additional words, examine the numerical results of your three footprint calculations by answering the following questions:
 
What did you learn that surprised you about your consumption habits?
 
What lifestyle changes could you make that would reduce one or more of the three footprints? Propose a minimum of five. (These do not have to be the ones you use in this course-long project; over the course of the discussion, you may opt to select other ones based upon classmates’ recommendations. You will be recording your final choices for lifestyle changes in your Journal at the end of the week.)
 
For each lifestyle change, which footprint would you be lowering? Discuss potential obstacles to making those changes, and then suggest ways you might overcome those obstacles.
 
Note: You will not be able to view others’ posts until you have made your own.
 
Required Resources
 
Text
 
Bensel, T., & Carbone, I. (2020). Sustaining our planet. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
 
Chapter 1: Understanding Environmental Science and Sustainability
 
Chapter 2: Understanding Ecology and Biodiversity
 
Multimedia
 
Ashford University. (2018). SCI207 – The scientific method (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from https://ashford.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/SCI207+-+THE+SCIENTIFIC+METHOD/1_5325onvq
 
This video provides information on the scientific method that will assist you in completing your Stream Morphology laboratory activity this week. This video has closed captioning.
 
Moovly. (2015, January 8). The ecological footprint explained (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/fACkb2u1ULY
 
This video provides information about what ecological footprints are and why they are measured, and will assist you in your Ecological Footprints discussion forum this week. This video has closed captioning and a transcript.
Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
National Public Radio. (2010, August 28). ‘The sound of a snail’: A patient’s greatest comfort (Links to an external site.) [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=129475625
 
This recorded interview provides information on how a nature experience can happen anywhere and despite overwhelming obstacles, and will assist you in completing your Nature Experience Project you will begin this week. The full project is due in Week 5. This podcast has a transcript.
Accessibility Statement does not exist.
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
Web Pages
 
Global Footprint Network. (n.d.). What is your ecological footprint? (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.footprintcalculator.org/
 
This web page provides an interactive calculator for determining your resource consumption and is necessary for completing your Ecological Footprints discussion forum this week.
Accessibility Statement does not exist.
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Carbon footprint calculator (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/
 
This web page provides an interactive calculator for determining your greenhouse gas emissions and is necessary for completing the Ecological Footprints discussion forum this week.
Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
Website
 
Water footprint calculator (Links to an external site.). (https://www.watercalculator.org)
 
This website provides an interactive calculator for determining your water consumption and is necessary for completing your Ecological Footprints discussion forum this week.
Accessibility Statement does not exist.
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
Supplemental Material
 
Carolina Distance Learning. (n.d.). Stream morphology
 [Investigation manual]. Retrieved from https://ashford.instructure.com
 
The Stream Morphology investigation manual is available in the online classroom. This lab manual provides background information on stream morphology and will assist you in your Stream Morphology Laboratory assignment.
 
Laboratory Supplies
 
Carolina Biological Supply Lab Kit
 
This lab kit provides lab supplies and materials for the hands-on labs that you will conduct for this course. Although the lab kit provides most of the lab supplies for the labs, there will be materials that you need to purchase independently for a few labs. For instance, you will be expected to supply all materials for the Week 1 Lab. Be sure to prepare a list of what you will need to purchase independently by viewing the lab investigation manuals and lab kits in advance. To see a checklist of the additional lab supplies that you will need each week for this course, access the Additional Lab Supplies Checklist.
 
Recommended Resources
 
Article
 
Carrington, D. (2018, March 12). What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us? (Links to an external site.) The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/12/what-is-biodiversity-and-why-does-it-matter-to-us
 
This article from The Guardian provides information about our global biodiversity crisis and may assist you in completing the Sustainable Living Guide Contributions: Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystems assignment.
Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)
Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)
 
Multimedia
 
HHMI BioInteractive [biointeractive]. (2015, April 8). Humans, biodiversity, and habitat loss—HHMI BioInteractive video (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1drkFgHbcWY
 
This video provides information about biodiversity loss and how people are contributing to it, and may assist you in completing your Sustainable Living Guide Contributions: Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystems assignment. This video has closed captioning and a transcript.
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