**Please note that this text has been automatically translated and contains French/Quebec references.**
After listening to François Bellefeuille's podcast, I took the test myself to find out how many planets were necessary for my lifestyle.
So how many do you think?
It is certain that the “pandemic” context causes responses to vary.
For example: during confinement, my eating habits changed from bulk items and Lufa baskets to frozen prepared meals that could be stored. On the other hand, I didn't fly this year. Also, several questions are difficult to answer, particularly the one about the percentage of our food that comes from less than 300km from us. Are you able to rate, out of 100, how well you eat locally? When I can make the choice, I choose foods made in Quebec, but I have never calculated the percentage. So in short, the result is approximate, but it still gives a good idea and it's interesting to do, just to question your habits.
I completed the questionnaire a few times, in 2019 versions and 2020 versions. Always honestly, changing the number of plane flights, car mileage and varying diet.
Sometimes I got to 1.3, sometimes 1.8... so an average of 1.5 planets.
1.5 is still a low number, but still very high. I then analyzed the platform!
I wondered if I could arrive less than a planet away in the same family context, always making very little waste (buying very few things, mostly used, recycling everything) and staying in the same house. In short, what could I still realistically change in my life to substantially reduce the result?
At my lowest, I had a result of 0.6.
That implies :
Have no other means of transportation than walking or cycling.
Eat 100% unprocessed, unpackaged foods produced within a 300km radius (so even if it's produced in Quebec, if it's grown in Gaspésie, it wouldn't work for me).
Become vegan (no animal products).
Then, I changed a few variants to see the impact on the footprint:
> If you are vegetarian but eat eggs, cheese and/or dairy products from time to time, you add +0.1. If we eat meat often (beef, pork, chicken, fish & seafood), we add +1.2.
> If we add 150km of buses per week, we add +0.3. If it is 150km of car (which consumes gasoline), we add +0.8.
> If we say we eat 50% unprocessed, unpackaged food produced within 300km, we add +0.2, if we say 0%, we add +0.5
Analyzing this little data allowed me to better understand the value of my future habit changes: what I can prioritize and what has the most impact. I personally believe that I can still reduce my footprint, on certain points, it is realistic.
For some people, changing even one variation of their life favorably could require very big changes in habits! But I have confidence that it is possible. And looking at all this from afar, I came to an important conclusion:
They say that small gestures are useless or don't really have an impact (carrying around our straws or our reusable water bottle, using snack bags instead of Ziplocs, blowing our noses in reusable tissues, etc.), but I think that they serve to prepare ourselves little by little, one gesture at a time, to accomplish bigger and more meaningful gestures later.
Whether we simply want to reduce our footprint or want to start a zero waste approach, the simple fact of wanting to do something is already so important! We wake up, we put our mind on the right path and we are ready to take a first step in the right direction. The other steps will be much easier. This is where small gestures take on their full meaning. This will be the subject of our next blog post.
In the meantime, if you want to know your ecological footprint, it's here: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/