Ecological Footprinting in an Ib School

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  • Topic: Ecological footprint, Carbon footprint, Ecology
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  • Published : April 14, 2013
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Environmental Systems and Societies
Research Question: In terms of an ecological-footprint, do the members of SIS form a ‘large footprint’ and, if so, what steps can the school take to improve its situation, via Social Responsibility or otherwise? By Shoumi Mittra

003510-022
SVKM International School
Word count: 3943 words

Investigating SVKM International School and
its ecological footprint

Table of contents:
Title| Page Number|
Abstract| 3|
Introduction| 4|
* Research Question| 5|
Rationale| 6|
Research| 6|
Results| 9|
* Summary of Results| 13|
Interpretations and Discussion| 15|
Conclusion and Recommendations| 21|
Bibliography| 23|
Appendix 1| 24|

Abstract:
The earth has formed arduously over billions of years, going through continental drifts, volcanic eruptions and cooling, growth of organisms and successions spanning over a million years and various other processes, to become the habitable planet that it is today. There is a ‘sphere’ (hydro-, litho- or atmo-) for every living being to live in, and the entire earth belongs to every organism on earth- The ecocentric belief. It is, however, the anthropocentric and its corresponding technocentric belief that has begun what can only be called an Environmental Crisis. It is to address this crisis that I have formulated my research question. It states: In terms of an ecological-footprint, do the members of SVKM International School (SIS) form a ‘large footprint’ and, if so, what steps can the school take to improve its situation, via Social Responsibility or otherwise? Thus, the aim of this research paper is to perform a small-scale estimation of such an ecological footprint of the highest-earning members of a very varied school. It is the part that I am a part of and thus, am most motivated to ameliorate. It is a common aspiration to always Act Locally and Think Globally. To be aware of one’s local impact on the environment is the key to achieving this aspiration. I proceeded to fulfil it in SIS to the best of my abilities as an Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) student and as a global citizen. It finally appeared that, through my extensive of primary research, the hypothesis was proven and in general, the IBDP members create a large impact, resulting in a large ecological footprint for SIS. By analysing the factors that contributed to this large eco-footprint, methods of social responsibility were suggested in the recommendations and thus, the research question has been extensively addressed. Word count: 299 words

Introduction:
The idea of measuring an impact on the globe was first conceived by William Rees and further developed by Mathis Wackernagel in 1992. As teacher and student respectively, Rees and Wackernagel worked at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada until the concept of “appropriated carrying capacity” was developed. With inspiration from a computer technician, the name evolved and finally emerged a global phenomenon: Calculate your Ecological Footprint! Conducted on various scales, ranging from the Global Ecological Footprint (estimated to be at about 1.5 earths) to the individual footprint, there is much justification for the use of an ecological footprint. Picture 1

Showing the current and previous Global Ecological Footprint

Although various streamlined subdivisions have been developed, such as the well-known Carbon Footprint, commonly used by businesses, the personal ecological footprint encompasses a variety of aspects: 1. A person’s water usage

2. Their use of land
3. Their pollution of the air
4. The amount of waste they produce
5. The sustainability of their actions
6. Their contributions to global warming and environmental degradation The calculators of such a vast array of concepts are numerous however the authentic ones are those affiliated with the Global Footprint Network. I have proceeded to not calculate, but estimate...
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