Week 4 Journal
In the first paragraph or two of your journal entry for this week, provide a status report on your Ecological Footprint Reduction Project.
Still looking great. This weekend I cleaned and changed all lighting fixtures to energy efficient bulbs. It wasn’t easy because some of the fixtures rusted during the years and had to be cleaned and oiled. But the outcome hopefully, will be a decline further in my electric bill and overall savings on buying light bulbs.
I also cleaned the lint out of the dryer. It was also causing an increase in the electric bill because of the height in temperature to dry clothes. Not it takes less time to dry clothes and saves on heat and adjusting the temperature.
We got rid of our drum to burn trash in outdoors and now recycle what we can and take the rest to the county landfill. It’s one trash trip a week. We have a line of trash containers outside that separate glass from plastic and house trash. We have a recycle bin for aluminum cans, also. When full, we take the trash to the landfill as well as the recycle items. We get paid per pound of aluminum and plastic and use the money to buy trash-bags for future us.
Have you encountered success with implementing your intended changes?
Absolutely. We are trying to pass this on to our children and their families to make their lives a little less complicated.
What challenges have you encountered?
The only challenges I have encountered are ones I make myself. We have no animals to take care of, but we do have a lot of squirrels. We try not to leave out any food that might give them the idea we welcome them. They can cause damage to our vehicles if they use them for storage, so we make sure we check our surroundings and become aware of where they live.
What have you learned so far from this activity?
In this activity, according to my ecological footprint, I’ve learned that a lot of issues we experience are our own faults. We abuse so many things: electricity, water and the environment. And then we complain when our bills are too high, putting the blame on price heights and taxes. But what we don’t realize is that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to economizing.
I now look at things differently. I try to utilize what I have instead of buying more. I use all my groceries (meats) before buying more and try to cook all pork meat all the way to the bone to eliminate bacteria that might cause sickness. I wash my meat thoroughly and keep my refrigerator and freezer at a certain temperature. Opening and closing the refrigerator door can cause temperature movements, so I only open the fridge if absolutely, necessary.
In another one or two paragraphs, share your thoughts about the fourth week of class. What did you learn?
From the activity I learn how important it is to be aware of how water moves in different areas, It amazes me that some ground water carries runoff into the ground and out in areas where crop roots are destroyed. I saw a lot of that in fields when I was a child, where there was not growth. It can also make animals sick when pollutants in the water travel to areas where there was fresh drinking water at one time.
Insecticides and pesticides can harm plants, animals, and sea creatures. Organic pesticides can also carry pollutants that get into the crops that are fed to animals who pass it on through their meat. Farmers are now more aware of the right kinds of pesticides and insecticides to use. We should also be aware. We get milk from cows and meat from cows, hogs and other small animals. Reading labels and getting the “411” on what’s in your food is now considered the common-sense approach to shopping healthier.
What experiences stand out for you?
I found the activity more difficult than the last one. There was some dissatisfaction with implementing the items I had to use to do the testing. But above all, I got confused with what items to use for what test. However, I managed to get it done partially.
What tasks or content did you find difficult or frustrating?
Sucking the sand back into the straws and measuring the width was difficult. I, quite and gave up, and actually wanted to go back at it again, but lost interest.
What activities did you find surprising or exciting?
I enjoyed learning about how farmers have to utilize the land in a process call no-tilling. It was amazing learning about all the task they had to perform to receive a good crop. Now I appreciate their hard work and dedication to give us the best crops avail to feed the world’s population.
Looking ahead, what are your intrigued or concerned by in the final week of the course?
I hope the last week is easier. I am worn-out from the back -to-back assignments.