Allow me to introduce myself. I am Big Foot. Now my size eight kicks are fairly average, but that’s not my issue. My issue is that while I talk a good environmental talk, I am disastrous to the environment. That’s hard to admit. I thought I was doing a lot of good by compulsively recycling, freezing my tail off at home (which is also work) to reduce gas use, and buying a car with good gas mileage.
So when all the green talk turned to measuring one’s carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gases my actions release into the environment, in refererance to carbon dioxide which makes up 84% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions), I thought ‘What the heck? I’m doing great.’ But when I saw my number, I felt guilty. If we projected my carbon emissions for this year today, I’d be at about 12 tons. The US average is 20.4 tons per person, but the worldwide average is 4 tons. And here’s the kicker. To combat climate change, the worldwide average needs to drop to 2 tons. Find out what your carbon footprint is!
I am ten tons overweight on the carbon scale. That’s not okay. My negative carbon project starts today. Over the next two and a half weeks, on a crash course to Earth Day, I am unplugging, parking the car, going meatless and local, bringing my own bag and bottle, and buying carbon offsets to get myself started on a year long course correction. Come along for the ride (ay, walk). Vamonos!
- Rosie Molinary, the author of Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, lives in Davidson, North Carolina.