For calculating my ecological footprint, I used a calculator at http://www.earthday.org/footprintcalculator. According to the results, 3.8 Earths and 16.8 productive land acres are required to provide enough sources for supporting my lifestyle. It corresponds with the national average value (3.9 Earths). The largest part of my ecological footprint derives from services. The online ecological footprint calculator offered me three steps for improving the situation: to reduce the amount of animal-based products by half, to purchase products that use less package or just recycling package material, and to use public transport instead of a car. It will allow saving 0.5 planets. However, my footprints still will be high: 3.3 Earths would be required. It is essential to assume the measures to reduce the negative ecological effect of my lifestyle.
Five possible steps to become more suitable could be:
- To reduce car and even public transport use, to walk on foot or cycle.
- To use recycling materials.
- To use LED and turn off all electrical appliances.
- To eat healthy and locally-grown food.
- To be more economical in water consumption.
The Community Supported Agriculture
The question of food justice is essential for everybody. However, the most vulnerable communities are those who live in poverty. People with low income simply do not have access to healthy organic food because they do not have enough money for buying it. Consequently, food stores owners do not start the business in such districts. It seems that these people do not have other opportunities, except buying chip food in big supermarket chains, knowing nothing about its quality. The possible solution to the problem could be found in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). The CSA is a local small farm that provides enough food for the community. People from the community could cultivate fruits and vegetables and sell them in local stores and on markets. Not many sources are required to start the CSA: the land nearby the community and people’s desire. The price of locally-grown food would be equal to or even lower than the supermarket products’ cost. The quality of organic food is much better because it is grown without fertilizers or other dangerous chemicals and does not store for a long time in unknown conditions. Food that was not sold during the week could be used for feeding the homeless or people with low income.
Food Sustainability in My Community
The idea of Community Supported Agriculture could be implemented on the level of particular families. Almost all people who live in private houses have a fertile land area by the house. The size of such an area is not sufficient for organizing a farm. However, it would be enough for a small garden with fruit trees and some beds with vegetables. Examples of such gardens could be seen in the neighborhood. I communicated with the people next door, and they tell me the benefits of such practice. Small families’ “farms” do not require much effort or resources. Actually, according to the people from the community words, running them brings a lot of pleasure and provides healthy products for the family. Besides, this practice might allow reducing the negative influence on global ecology by reducing the consumption of the source. If people produce fruits and vegetables by themselves, they do not need to buy delivered products in the supermarket chains.