Week 2

The focus this week was on the importance of sustainability. I defined sustainability as…

  • values and practices that can be successfully implemented over an extended period of time.
  • Taking what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to meet their needs
  • Looking after the environment

It was fascinating to discover that the average bio-capacity of the earth is 1.8 global hectares and on average the human race uses 2.2 global hectares, yet Victorians use 6.8 global hectares. It just reinforces the fact that our current usage of the planet’s finite resources is far from being sustainable and that drastic change in our actions, which can only be caused by a change in our values are essential.

Following on from this I conducted my own personal ecological footprint calculator and found that on average I use 2.8 global hectares. Although this is still far from the 1.8 global hectares that the earth can actually sustain and I should be more environmentally conscious, I was still proud that it was significantly lower than the average for Victoria.

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The ecological footprint calculator resonated within me the need for care for the physical environment. It presented the reality that the earth is truly a finite resource and that our rate of consumption is exceeding the available resources. At times when doing the readings for this unit and some of the activities it can become a bit depressing that this is the state of the planet and we only have ourselves to blame. However, I and others have to realise the importance of acknowledging the reality of the challenges we face. That it is not something that can be ignored and to do so is unhealthy not only for the environment but damages our own self care.

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http://www.outsideonline.com/1899856/countries-10-biggest-ecological-footprints-person

I found that this graphic explores the centre of care related to care for distant others. It shows the great disparity in different nations ecological footprint.Higher income, more developed countries generally have a higher Footprint than poorer, less developed countries.Showing that if everyone lived like an average Indonesian only two-thirds of the Earth’s biocapacity would be used. However if humanity utilised resources like the average US citizen 4 planets would be used.

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