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Essay Contest Who can write the best essay that draws on both science and social studies knowledge? Who would like to win $, an iPad, and a trip to Turkey?

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Presentation on theme: "Essay Contest Who can write the best essay that draws on both science and social studies knowledge? Who would like to win $, an iPad, and a trip to Turkey?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay Contest Who can write the best essay that draws on both science and social studies knowledge? Who would like to win $, an iPad, and a trip to Turkey?

2 Student letter: Dear Mr.Taylor,
I just received a letter from the United States Capitol Historical Society today, and I'm really happy!!! There was a certificate for my outstanding entry in the Junior Division, even though I didn't finish in the top three. I was really surprised, since I didn't put much effort in the essay, and I really regret doing that. Aside from the certificate, I also got a calendar and a booklet that has interesting information that I don't yet have about the government. I just want to say thank you so much for...well....almost everything!!! I'm serious!! :D St.Pete High is really different from what I expected. The pre-IB program is filled with students who share the same goal as I do: to graduate from high school and be successful. Among the classes, my English class was the easiest, or well...the least difficult!!~ We began reading "The Cask of Amontillado" two weeks ago and the vocabulary words, characterizations, e.t.c. were so similar from last year. I had a good grade on the quiz of that story. Annotating texts is now more complex by focusing on more diverse elements of the stories. During essay discussion sessions, I noticed all of the other students' essays have "it" and "-thing" at least once or twice. I felt really grateful for what you have taught me about being more descriptive in writing. My journals in that class have really high grades, and I'm just really thankful of how well you prepared me for high school!!! I still have all of last year's works in a gigantic binder, so I can use that as a reference. The knowledge I gained from last year has become even more valuable than I thought. Only a month has passed, and I'm missing middle school already!!! I still remember all the days where I thought you were the most ridiculous teacher I've ever had who gave me the most complicated assignments ever. Yet, only now I realize that all of your effort was to prepare me to become a successful high school student. With your help, writing an essay draft in under 50 minutes is like breathing air now. I'm really glad to have had you as a teacher. I hope to be able to visit Meadowlawn again soon, because you surely will be the first one I'll see. Sincerely, C. N.

3 Istanbul Cultural Center at Tampa Bay Kicks Off 2012-2013 Global Connections
Art and Essay Contest ! Istanbul Cultural Center at Tampa Bay and Istanbul Center has organized Annual Art and Essay Contest for middle and high school students throughout the Southeastern U.S. The Global Connections Art and Essay Contest is affiliated with many universities and colleges and sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Secretariat (UNAOC) in New York.


5 The theme for the 2012-13 contest is:
Past year's themes have included the following: "Who is My Neighbor?” "1 Billion Hungry in the World: What's Your Role?” and "Empathy: Walking in Another's Shoes,” last year’s topic. We had a great turned our last year and received more 3000 submissions throughout Southeastern U.S. The theme for the contest is: "The Human Footprint on the Environment: Impacts and Solutions.”

6 The program objective is to have students in middle and high schools think about and be involved in solving global social problems and issues in our world today in an effort to develop intercultural understanding and respect towards others. This year students for middle and high school age youth (grades 6-12) in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, Volusia and Leon Counties and the cities of Gainesville and Tallahassee will be competing among each other first. Then, the winning students’ essays and artwork will be evaluated among all Southeastern U.S. submissions.

7 All top three contest winners' submissions in each category in local contests will have the chance to compete in Southeastern region that includes: Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee in Atlanta, GA organized by Istanbul Center on April 7, 2013. Students can submit their artworks applications and essays through Submissions deadline is January 27, 2013 at 6 p.m. The Central Florida Awards Ceremony and Reception is on Friday March 22, 2012 at 6.00 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center.

8 Essay Contest Rules Grades 6, 7 and 8 will compete in the Middle School Category. Each sponsoring teacher may submit an unlimited amount of essays from his or her class(es). Essays may be one of the following four types: Persuasive Essay, Informative Essay, Narrative Story, or True Story. Essays must be original, unpublished, and written by one student, and must not exceed 1000 words. All essay submissions must be made online at Do NOT submit physical copies of your essays via mail. Be sure to submit your essay sufficiently in advance of the deadline so that any potential technical issues may be addressed. Students may only submit one (1) essay within the Essay Contest. Students who submit an essay are still permitted to enter (1) submission in the Art Contest. Each submission must include: the student’s name, grade, school, city, state, sponsoring teacher's name, sponsoring teacher's address and district superintendent’s name. Essays lacking the above criteria may be disqualified. The online submission form will require all of these details. Submissions must be received no later than January 27, 2013. Winning essays become the property of Istanbul Center and as such may be used, copied, and displayed by Istanbul Center for promotional/informational purposes. Essays will be judged according to the rubric available here. DISQUALIFYING FACTORS: Essays may be disqualified automatically or receive lower scores if they lack any aforementioned criteria. Please follow the directions for each submission.

9 Think about: being involved in solving global social problems and issues in our world today in an effort to develop intercultural understanding and respect towards others. Then, respond to the following: What is the “Human Footprint on the Environment?” What are the impacts of the footprint or footprints? What are possible solutions to the problems Human Footprints create? Important concerns: Essays may be one of the following four types: Persuasive Essay, Informative Essay, Narrative Story, or True Story. Essays must be original, unpublished, and written by one student, and must not exceed 1000 words. (For the class assignment: 500 – 1000 words! At 8 words per line for 26 lines, the would be about 200 words per page. If you are writing too large to get average 8 words per line, you are writing too large! So, a 1000 word maximum would be about 5 pages.) All essay submissions must be made online at Writing Prompt


11 Artwork Guidelines General guidelines for all art submissions EXCEPT Photography and Graphic Design: Traditional media categories include Drawing, Painting, and Collage: Original work must be 15” x 20” which in turn needs to be mounted or executed (not matted) on illustration board of equal size. The artwork will extend to the edges of the illustration board. All artworks must include an “Artist’s Statement” on the back of each work. All images must be two-dimensional, original, and not appropriated from any other resource unless dramatically altered. Artwork must be unpublished and completed by one person. General guidelines for Photography submissions: Photography work includes color and black & white works. Actual photos should be 8” x 10” only and must be printed on 8.5” x 11” photo paper. Please do not frame and do not mount photography submissions. All images must be two-dimensional, original, and not appropriated from any other resource unless dramatically altered. Artwork must be unpublished and completed by one person. General guidelines for Graphic Design submissions: Graphic design work is defined as the use of computer media and innovative computer applications in art. Original artwork must be 8.5”x11” only, and must be mounted on illustration board that is also 8.5”x11”. Please only mount the piece on illustration board that is the aforementioned size. Please do not matt graphic design work. All images must be two-dimensional, original, and not appropriated from any other resource unless dramatically altered. Artwork must be unpublished and completed by one person. DISQUALIFYING FACTORS: Artwork may be disqualified automatically or receive lower scores if it lacks any of the aforementioned criteria. Please follow the exact directions for each submission.

12 Art Contest Rules - Grades 6, 7 and 8 will compete in the Middle School Category. - Artwork can be submitted in virtually any two dimensional media, including the following subcategories: - Drawing, Painting, Collage, Photography and Graphic Design - Students may only submit one (1) piece of artwork (in any medium) within the Art Contest. Students who submit artwork are still permitted to enter (1) submission in the essay portion of the Contest. - Each submission must include: the student's name, grade, school, city, state, sponsoring teacher's name, sponsoring teacher's address and district superintendent's name. Submissions lacking the above criteria may be disqualified. Please follow the instructions on the contest website for submission. - Each submission must include a completed copy of the Consent Form (Attachment 8) signed by the student, sponsoring teacher, and at least one (1) parent or legal guardian. - Submissions must be received no later than January 27, 2013. - Winning art pieces become the property of Istanbul Center and as such may be used, copied and displayed by Istanbul Center for promotional/informational purposes. - Artwork from non-winning students will be returned upon request after the Awards Ceremony. (Please provide a detailed address on the back of each submission that you want returned, as well as postage and packaging for the return of each piece). Non-winning students relinquish all claims to submitted pieces on May 3rd, 2013. - Please note that Istanbul Center reserves the right to not recognize any winners whatsoever in said category should the category lack quality submissions (as deemed by the professional judges). - Participants must use the submission link in the website to inititate their submission. - The art pieces will be judged using the rubric which is available here.

13 Essay Contest Statewide Awards
These are the awards for each category (Middle and High Schools): 1st Place: Trip to Turkey (*All-Expenses-Paid except for international airfare to and from Istanbul, Turkey for the student, sponsoring teacher and their local district superintendent), an iPad for the student, a $100 gift card for the sponsoring teacher. 2nd Place: Trip to Turkey (*All-Expenses-Paid except for international airfare to and from Istanbul, Turkey for the student, sponsoring teacher and their local district superintendent), a $200 gift card for the student, a $75 gift card for the sponsoring teacher. 3rd Place: Trip to Turkey (*All-Expenses-Paid except for international airfare to Istanbul, Turkey for the student, sponsoring teacher and their local district superintendent), a $100 gift card for the student, a $50 gift card for the sponsoring teacher. 4th Place: a $75 gift card for student 5th Place: a $50 gift card for student 6th through 10th Places: a $25 gift card for student Southeastern Awards These are the awards for each category (Middle and High): 1st Place: Trophy and recognition from winning state. 2nd Place: Trophy and recognition from winning state. 3rd Place: Trophy and recognition from winning state.

14 Footprint Basics - Introduction Students have probably heard of the Ecological Footprint - the metric that allows us to calculate human pressure on the planet and come up with facts. For instance, if everyone lived the lifestyle of the average American, we would need 5 planets. How does the Ecological Footprint work in basic terms? An exploration of this idea examines the benefits of ecological accounting, introduces some of the most important Footprint findings, and addresses provocative questions: Do we fit on the planet? How can a study of the Footprint foster sustainable human development? How do carbon emissions contribute to humanity’s Ecological Footprint?

15 What is The Human Footprint on the Environment
What is The Human Footprint on the Environment? Is there a difference among an individual footprint, a community footprint, a national footprint, and a world footprint? How can that footprint have impact? Is the impact felt or realized only by humans or by every living entity within an environment or all environments? If that impact causes damage, what are the harms to the environment? Are some harmful impacts more damaging than others? Are some harms created immediately and others created over a long period of time? If that impact is damaging, what are the solutions to lessen the impact? Should solutions begin with an individual, a community, or a nation…or all three?

16 Questions you might consider: How do humans affect the environment
Questions you might consider: How do humans affect the environment? Are the effects positive, negative, or both? Why is the human footprint on the environment a problem? Are humans separate from the environment or are they interconnected? Is balance between the two possible? How is air quality and even the availability of clean water being affected by the human footprint? What effect can one person have regarding the human footprint on the environment and reducing negative effects? What effects can a community have on such issues? What factors, human or otherwise, contribute to environmental degradation? Are there creative solutions for these contributing factors? How do politics, cultural differences, climate, geography, and other logistics affect the impacts that human have on the environment? How do you think Americans, specifically a nation in which over-consumption and waste are common, factor in to the human footprint on the environment? How does American culture portray and perceive the environment? What do students learn about world hunger in classrooms? How are human impacts different in other parts of the world? What efforts are being made to raise awareness to prevent and solve environmental degradations? Are those efforts working?

17 How can humans utilize technology to slow or undo environmental damage of the last century or two? What effects do improper garbage dumping and land filling have on the environment? How will the loss of keystone species, such as the honeybee, jaguar, or sea otter, affect individuals, local communities, countries, and/or the global community? What would a world be like without important flora and fauna? Should the average person understand the impact of human footprints? What are ways to demonstrate concern for the impact of human footprints? How would the world be different if all people were concerned about human footprints? How do the affects from human footprints impact an individual’s life, health, and goals? How does the human impact on the environment affect people in poverty or how do impoverished people impact the environment? How does human conflict (wars) affect the environment or increase the effects of human footprints? When composing your essay, realize the limitations that your choice of type of writing (Persuasive Essay, Informative Essay, Narrative Story, or True Story) imposes. Choose one format and stay within that style.

18 Footprint Basics - Overview Humanity needs what nature provides, but how do humans know how much they are using and how much they have to use? The Ecological Footprint has emerged as the world’s premier measure of humanity’s demand on nature. This accounting system tracks, on the demand side, how much land and water area a human population uses to provide all a person takes from nature. This includes the areas for producing the resource an individual consumes, the space for accommodating buildings and roads, and the ecosystems for absorbing waste emissions such as carbon dioxide. These calculations account for each year’s prevailing technology, as productivity and technological efficiency change from year to year. The accounting system also tracks the supply of nature: the idea documents how much biologically productive area is available to provide these services (biocapacity ). Therefore, these accounts are able to compare human demand against nature’s supply of biocapacity.

19 World Footprint Do humans fit on the planet
World Footprint Do humans fit on the planet? Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources humans use and absorb their waste. This means the Earth takes one year and six months to regenerate what humanity uses in a year. Moderate UN scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s, humans will need the equivalent of two Earths to support them. And of course, they only have one. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts humanity in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.

20 August 22 was Earth Overshoot Day In 8 Months, Humanity Exhausted Earth's Budget for the Year August 22 was Earth Overshoot Day, marking the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. The human population is now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, humanity will maintain an ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Just as a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network measures humanity’s demand for and supply of natural resources and ecological services. And the data is sobering. Global Footprint Network estimates that in approximately 8 months, humans demanded more renewable resources and C02 sequestration than what the planet can provide for an entire year. In 1992, Earth Overshoot Day—the approximate date human resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish—fell on October 21. In 2002, Overshoot Day was on October 3. Given current trends in consumption, one conclusion is clear: Earth Overshoot Day tends to arrive a few days earlier each year. Earth Overshoot Day, a concept originally developed by Global Footprint Network partner and U.K. think tank new economics foundation, is the annual marker of when humanity begin living beyond their means in a given year. While only a rough estimate of time and resource trends, Earth Overshoot Day is as close as science can be to measuring the gap between the demand for ecological resources and services, and how much Earth can provide.

21 Footprint for Nations In today’s world, where humanity is already exceeding planetary limits, ecological assets are becoming more critical. Each country has an individual ecological risk profile: Many are running ecological deficits, with Footprints larger than their own biological capacity. Others depend heavily on resources from elsewhere, which are under increasing pressure. In some areas of the world, the implications of ecological deficits can be devastating, leading to resource loss, ecosystem collapse, debt, poverty, famine and war. The Ecological Footprint is a resource accounting tool that helps countries understand their ecological balance sheet and gives them the data necessary to manage their resources and secure their future. Learn about the work people are doing and how they have engaged with 57 nations through the Ten-in-Ten Campaign. National governments using the Footprint are able to: Assess the value of their country’s ecological assets Monitor and manage their assets Identify the risks associated with ecological deficits Set policy that is informed by ecological reality and makes safeguarding resources a top priority Measure progress toward their goals Certainly, the case can be made that countries and regions with surplus ecological reserves—not the ones relying on continued ecological deficit spending—will emerge as the robust and sustainable economies and societies of the future.

22 Ten-in-Ten Initiative Ecological assets are becoming the decisive competitive factors in global affairs. Countries that know their ecological assets, manage them, protect them, and use them wisely, will be better off. At Global Footprint Network, people are working to create a future in which the Ecological Footprint is a globally accepted metric, as prominent as the GDP. They believe this future is inevitable if humanity is going to succeed. In 2005, they launched their Ten-in-Ten campaign with the goal of institutionalizing the Ecological Footprint in at least ten key national governments by They have a solid start: More than 57 nations have engaged with the organization directly. More than twenty nations have completed reviews of the Footprint. Japan, Switzerland, UAE, Ecuador, Finland, Scotland and Wales have formally adopted the idea.

23 Our Human Development Initiative Sustainable human development will occur when all humans can have fulfilling lives without degrading the planet. This, people believe, is the ultimate goal. Two leading indicators have identified how the world can get there. Ecological Footprint data tells people that, given current population and available land area, an Ecological Footprint of less than 1.8 global hectares per person makes a country’s resource demands globally replicable. The United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI)—which measures a country’s average achievements in the areas of health, knowledge, and standard of living—tells us that an HDI higher than 0.8 is considered “high human development.”

24 Personal Footprint Take the Quiz
How much land area is taken to support a person’s lifestyle? Take this quiz to find out your Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to tread more lightly on the earth. Take the Quiz

25 Frequently Asked Questions
What follows is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Ecological Footprint. If you have a question about the Ecological Footprint that is not addressed here, please also see our Technical FAQ page. General What is the Ecological Footprint? What does the Ecological Footprintmeasure? Which Footprint calculator should I use? What is biocapacity? What is overshoot? How is an Ecological Footprintcalculated? What is a global hectare? What is the proper way to use the term Ecological Footprint? Is the Ecological Footprint a measure of carrying capacity? Is the Ecological Footprint anti-trade, anti-technology, or anti-GDP? What is the Water Footprint, and how does it relate to the Ecological Footprint?

26 The beginning of an idea….
The first academic publication about the ecological footprint was by William Rees in The ecological footprint concept and calculation method was developed as the PhD dissertation of Mathis Wackernagel, under Rees' supervision at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, from 1990– Originally, Wackernagel and Rees called the concept "appropriated carrying capacity”. To make the idea more accessible, Rees came up with the term "ecological footprint", inspired by a computer technician who praised his new computer's "small footprint on the desk”. In early 1996, Wackernagel and Rees published the book, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth.

27 Take the National Geographic interactive quiz at:
Human Footprint | Watch the Documentary Film Free Online . Human Footprint Synopsis: In a playful, surprising and thought-provoking portrait of our time on earth, National Geographic demonstrates, in a series of remarkable visuals, what makes up an average human life today and how everything we do has impact on the world around us. This unique journey through life shows all the people you will ever know, how much waste you will produce, the amount of fuel you'll consume, and how much you've got to pack in during your 2,475,526,000 seconds on earth. The following lesson is available at:

28 Example essays

29 Reducing Our Ecological Footprint At least once a year, I would load up my backpack and hike out into the backcountry for several days of camping. Although not the easiest way to camp, there are so many benefits that are important parts of my life. Wilderness camping re-energizes me, sort of a life "reboot", and slows me down from the frenetic pace of life I live in the rest of the year. But perhaps the biggest benefit that I get is that I am reminded of just how much of my personal baggage I want, how much is what I need, and how big is the environmental footprint I have created in the world. When I carry all of the equipment I need for three or four days in the wilderness, I am forced to give serious thought to what I bring. I only have so much space to put provisions in a backpack, and I do not want to haul around a 95-pound pack all day long, particularly if I am heading into the mountains. So, I bring the food I need. I bring water and the means to purify water. I bring just the clothes I’ll need and a tent, sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad to keep me warm and dry. I add a stove to cook on, a pan to cook in, a mug to drink out of, and spoons, forks, and bowls to eat with. Finally, I need matches, a few toiletries, and a first aid kit. Once I have those supplies, everything else is extra. For example, I bring a plastic funnel for making good coffee. I don't need coffee, but, on the other hand, I NEED coffee! I also bring a book or a magazine to peruse. I don't need reading material, but a book is small and worth the extra weight. These are simple items that give me pleasure. At the end of the trip, I bring out a Ziploc bag or two of trash, and that's about all my trash (other than some pretty stinky clothes!) During my trip, I practice the Leave No Trace principles. If someone is interested, there's a Leave No Trace organization that publishes these concepts on their website. The thrust of this approach is leave the wilderness the same way the wild area is found, if not better. Others who visit should not even know a human was there. Even the Boy Scouts of America are now teaching these principles. This philosophy is a far cry from decades ago when a pack of young boys would enter their campsite and immediately begin transforming the natural environment to suit them. They'd chop down trees and saplings to build structures. They'd trench around their tents. Rather than leaving a small footprint, they leave a large boot stomp.

30 The reason I think I value backpacking so much is the effect that the experience has on me when I return. Having spent several days being careful about the impact I have on my environment, I return realizing what a large impact I have in my everyday life. Anyone can, in fact, find out what his ecological footprint is, a way of measuring what ecological impact a specific lifestyle has. Got to and calculate any person’s ecological footprint. Although the data is not perfect, this quiz will give food for thought. The system calculates how much land a lifestyle requires per year to sustain and how many Earths we'd need if everyone on the planet lived like that person. What can people to reduce their ecological footprint? There are many actions. For example, in my house, I compost all organic matter. I also recycle objects that my local community accepts at the recycling center. In addition, I often choose the items I buy based on the amount of packaging they have. The combination of these three practices reduces my garbage output to only one 30-gallon bag every two weeks for a family of two. Not too bad. And the compost I make goes into my organic garden plot. Buying locally-grown and processed foods is another way to reduce an environmental footprint. Although cost is not so obvious, the amount of energy taken to ship food around the globe is astronomical. Because food can be grown so inexpensively, shipping food products is not prohibitively expensive from South America to the Midwest of America. By choosing local foods, a consumer can have a large indirect impact. Buying organic whenever possible helps also. Organic produce and other foods have come down significantly in price, gone up significantly in quality, and have become much more readily available. In my family, we have found that organic growers often choose varieties that don't need to be shipped as far and stored as long, and, as a consequence, they taste better! Organic bananas are a good example. Whatever choices I make, I consider my ecological footprint and reduce that footprint whenever possible. I try to be an example to coworkers, friends, and neighbors. And, above all, to have the biggest impact, I teach children. There is a no more effective way to change the world than to teach children how to be good stewards of the Earth. If adults lead by example and show children how to live simply, those lessons stay with young people the rest of their lives, and learning to live with a smaller ecological footprint is, perhaps, the finest legacy of all.

31 People should consider going backpacking once a year
People should consider going backpacking once a year. A trip in the wild doesn't have to be a long or particularly strenuous. Just getting out with all one needs to survive for a couple of days strapped to his back is enough to make that person realize how complicated humans make their lives. Simplifying needs for a short time has a wonderful effect, spills over into a person’s life in subtle ways, and may get him to think about his environmental footprint on a daily basis. So, taking a hike into the natural world without leaving environmental footprints is a worthwhile endeavor. Exactly 1000 words Is this an effective conclusion?

32 Ecological Footprint Essay I have often wondered how much my environmental actions contribute to bettering the world. However, after taking my first Ecological Footprint quiz, I realize my standard of living requires 2.84 Earths to sustain the human population, about 1.84 more than I anticipated. Surprisingly, changing my country of origin dramatically decreases the number of Earths needed. So why does the country of origin matter so much? The ecological footprint quiz explains these differences, and tries to direct our thinking to change our fundamental ideas of ‘progress’ and a continually growing economy. This shift of ideas all comes down to politics, a composer of ideas and power. Thus, the Ecological Footprint concept is political, and connects a personal footprint to a nationwide footprint, raising awareness toward environmental protection, the first step to change. Personally, I make a daily effort to try to help the environment. I compost, recycle, buy clothes from thrift or consignment stores, purchase organic food, and ride a bike. I am the modern-day hippy. Yet, calculates that I need 2.84 Earths to sustain the human population using my ‘green’ lifestyle. I expected someone with my lifestyle to have a much lower number. More staggering, someone living my same lifestyle in Honduras only requires 0.40 Earths to sustain human life. What accounts for these differences? Honduras, a developing country, has far less infrastructure, people, and money to utilize. This literally forces Hondurans to use less. On the other hand, Americans inherently use more resources due to the infrastructure intertwined within the country. For example, an individual may not have paved the road they live on, but by using that track they take part in the use of such infrastructure. The ecological footprint quiz considers these advantages and environmental harms and absorbs them into individual inherent responsibility (“FAQ” Eco Footprint). Due to this inherent responsibility, my third attempt of the quiz only lowered my result to 2.21 even though I changed my answers to become “greener.” From this ecological footprint concept, one can conclude that the sum of a country’s ecological footprint vastly outweighs an individual ecological footprint. My individual actions had little impact on my overall score. Notice C/C Where are appostives? Notice C/C Notice C/C

33 The ecological footprint concept tries to change the idea that all progress and growth is intrinsically good. Progress, while coupled with growth leads to more resources being utilized. Furthermore, the quiz implies through the use of a baseline that real change takes more than an individual; it takes collective action. If the United States can lower its baseline, then individual choice will have a much greater impact. However, many Americans do not think about environmental issues in a collective way. They buy compact florescent bulbs and worry no further. The ecological footprint concept tries to change this way of thinking by comparing answers to a nationwide average and suggesting voting environmental leaders into office, a grassroots effort. In this way, the ecological footprint concept is political. What I mean by political is not government parties, although those can be included, but the shifting of ideas. Ideas are power and power is politics. For example, President Obama and Governor Romney both tried to get into office because they believed they had the correct ideas to improve our country. Their campaigns convinced people of those ideas. The website wants people to take hold of these ideas and to contact their representatives and make more environmental choices in their life. These are fundamental changes in how many Americans think because ultimately Americans may need to rethink what progress really means. My roommate also took this quiz thinking he could get a lower score than me. He did not. His dramatic increase from my answers to his at first made him laugh at the quiz, but when I prompted him to take a look at how he could lower his footprint, he truly considered the ideas. He said, “Yeah I should try to do that.” Many of the considerations on the website had never occurred to him, even though he lives with an Environmental Studies student. As an environmentalist, this test strengthens my renewal to environmental protection. Ideas are power. Ideas, power, and politics can lead to change. On the other hand, I found quiz to be an imperfect system. The questions lack information that may apply to students, and it assumes that I am living as a single family. For example, income levels of my household do not necessarily apply. Some of my roommates have jobs and many have loans covering their living expenses, but our overall income is not easily combined. Furthermore, my house is split into two separate living areas: a basement apartment and a main/top floor apartment. If everyone on Earth used my standard of living as a model we would not necessarily need 2.84 Earths, but that answer is an estimate. Elevated language?

34 Overall, I think the quiz is effective, but may not lead to immediate widespread change. By using a country’s infrastructure as a baseline for individual results, the quiz challenges our mode of thinking and what it means to be environmental. Yes, individual actions play a role, but this concept alludes to the idea that in a free country, American citizens hold responsibility for the infrastructure allowing them to easily consume and waste. In Honduras, a lack of resources, labor, or infrastructure forces Hondurans to use less. This concept challenges the idea that progress or consumption in developed countries can continue. This ecological footprint concept is political, including the desire to change ideas and get a mass of people working together. My results changed dramatically from one country to another and the quiz connects my individual actions to that of a country, directing one’s thought to the political notion that change comes through politics or the changing of ideas. The ecological footprint, if absorbed, could change the world as we know it. Works Cited "Ecological Footprint." FAQ: Quiz by Center for Sustainable Economy. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct <>. 977 words

35 My ecological footprint Using an online calculator, I found that my ecological footprint percentage is 70.82%. The current population would need 4.51 Earths if everyone had the lifestyle that I lead. The results made me feel concerned because my footprint is above average by almost 20 percent, which seems like a lot to me. I was surprised that my results were so poor because I think of myself as someone who is environmentally conscious. I do not litter by throwing garbage on the street. If a garbage can is not conveniently located to me, I carry the garbage with me until I can find a garbage can. Despite my little actions like these, I was surprised that my ecological footprint is so large. That is why I think this was a worthwhile assignment because I have been educated about how non-environmentally friendly I am. I could realistically reduce my footprint by about 25% just by using cleaner transport. Usually I drive whenever I need to go somewhere, but I think from now on whenever possible, I will take the Metro Transit bus instead. I think that resource depletion is likely to increase as developing countries attempt to increase their standard of living. My former country, a developing country, Yemen, does not have as large an ecological footprint as Canada or United States does. In our cities, cars are used a lot, but in the countryside, people use horses and camels as their main way of transporting themselves. Yemen is trying to become more developed like the West, but so far our efforts have not worked out that well. Originally, because Yemen started out as a kingdom, only the King had a car, but, over time, as the country became a republic. Cars became more common as everyday people began driving them in the cities. I think that as Yemen seeks to become more like the Western world, especially the United States, resource depletion will become more pronounced. Do these examples really define this individual? Does jumping from a personal example to an example of a country without effective transitions work?

36 . Developing nations should not have the right to deplete resources just to become more like the West. That will just make the situation with the environment worse as time goes on. If every country has a large ecological footprint, then we will increasingly need more Earths to satisfy everyone's energy consumption. A recent internet article indicated that people in Europe are relying too much on groundwater. If this continues, then the water supply there could become a problem. If that happens, the price of water will go up, and this will be bad for their economy because everyone needs water. If people who need water cannot afford the cost, then the scarcity of water could be an economic, as well as environmental, disaster. The root cause of this specific problem is that people are relying too much on groundwater. Many countries in the world have found effective methods to conserve rainwater or make better use of reservoirs. They can reduce their footprint as countries by making sure that some people do not waste water, while others go without. References “Europe's water consumption unsustainable.” Retrieved online on May 18, 2009 at 506 words Is this an effective conclusion?

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