By Samuel Arnowitz
After the class assignment to read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, I was intrigued to find out what kind of footprint I’m leaving behind.
For a short while, I worked for a “green” pest control company; what made it green, I do not know. While searching around online, I stumbled onto an online ecological footprint survey and thought it would be interesting to take. The survey was and is being run by the Global Footprint Network; it consisted of a series of questions concerning how I live, what I eat, what I consume regularly, how I dispose of waste, what my home is like, what my family is like, my driving habits and my electrical expenses. I had thought I was doing all right, but my score was not so great.
It turns out that if everyone on the planet were to live the entirety of their lives the way I do, we would need 4.9 planets to sustain life here on Earth. And, at the end of the survey I was recorded as a contributor to the global environmental and ecological footprint. My immediate and defensive thought was, “What a great way to get people to become environmentally conscious, blame them!” The site then gave me the reasons why I scored so low and how I can improve my lifestyle.
Unfortunately, I had to submit to the survey information about my previous summer job and I can’t help but think that it was a major contributor to my low grade. If Rachel Carson were to find out about this, I believe that she would surly be disappointed.
The survey, however, was indeed an eye opener and I will redoubtedly be making a valiant effort to clean up my act.