Did you ever think about how many products you use, consume or discard in just one week? Did you ever think about the water used to make those products? How about the fuel used to transport them to you or the waste generated when creating them? As students who live busy lives, sometimes we don’t stop to think of these questions, but these are the issues addressed in the National Geographic documentary, Human Footprint.
According to the Human Footprint website, the average American will take 28,433 seven-minute showers in his or her lifetime — that is equivalent to running water nonstop for 136 days. Another eye-opening conclusion it makes is how many trees are needed to make a year’s worth of newspapers for the U.S.: a shocking 191 million trees. Without them, 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each day. Even more disturbing is the fact that the average U.S. citizen will drive 627,000 miles in a lifetime, which equates to driving around the equator of the planet 25.18 times.
Those are just a few of the many common problems that National Geographic touches upon in the film. Human Footprint shows us workable solutions to these everyday issues that will help people decrease their carbon footprints.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of ways to significantly cut down your amount of daily waste. An easy way to lessen our water waste is to take shorter showers and not let faucets run when not in use. A simple solution to reduce paper waste is to read books using a Nook or iPad and to not print out unnecessary items. You can also decrease fuel consumption by carpooling and shopping locally. There are so many small changes you can make that have huge lasting impacts.
The director of the film, Dr. Eric W. Sanderson, states, “Human influence on Earth can be positive or negative, benign or catastrophic. Recognizing this responsibility is the first step each of us can take to transform the human footprint and save the last of the wild.”
Whether the issue is wildlife, climate change, plastic consumption or the waste we produce, we all play a role. We can each make changes for a greater environment and a better worldly influence.
To learn more about how you can do your part, join us on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:00 p.m., in the Sweigart 115 auditorium, where we will be showing the film Human Footprint.