InstructionsThe final assessment will address Course Outcomes 1 and 3: interpret quantitative information to determine the effects of human activity on the environment and evaluate environmentally su

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InstructionsThe final assessment will address Course Outcomes 1 and 3:

  • interpret quantitative information to determine the effects of human activity on the environment and evaluate environmentally sustainable decisions,
  • communicate effectively and use scientific evidence regarding human impact on the environment with emphasis on sustainability and global citizenship

Description

The final assessment will be composed of three parts and should be 4–6 pages in length (excluding citations page):

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INTRO: Using your three data projects, provide a comprehensive overview of your environmental footprint connecting the various calculator results you obtained for the semester. Be sure to include new insights you gleaned while summarizing your results. (1–2 pp).

EXPLORE: Pick one of your behaviors/choices that has the most harmful impact on our environment and explain why you believe this behavior is the most harmful. Explore possible solutions or countermeasures to correct/improve your focal behavior. Be sure to review at least 2–3 alternatives in the literature (pick reliable resources!) (2 pp).

CONCLUSIONS: Pick the best solution you EXPLORE above with an analysis of both the economic and ecological "savings" per year to be gained by the new behavior/choice (1–2 pp). NOTE: pick measurable units for both savings categories, like dollars, pounds, gallons, etc.

Review the grading rubric before you begin.

Data project 1

Part 1: From my data found in my chart I found out the average amount of earth needed for the people in our class is 5.88. Which is very surprising to me cause that would mean almost 6 earths per person are needed just to sustain one person which sounds very ridiculous actually seeing it and makes me as an individual want to want to change my habits.

Part 2:

Different Ways that could be used to reduce the ecological footprint are listed below as follows.

Conserving Energy:

One significant way individuals can reduce their ecological footprint is by conserving energy in their daily lives. This includes actions such as reducing electricity consumption by turning off lights and appliances when not in use (U.S. Department of Energy, 2019). Research conducted by Shiu and Lewis (Reference: Shiu & Lewis, 2003) found that implementing energy conservation measures significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Transitioning to Renewable Energy Sources:

Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, is another effective strategy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and decrease our ecological footprint. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix can help mitigate climate change (IPCC, 2018).

Reducing Meat Consumption:

Livestock production is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues (Steinfeld et al., 2006). By reducing meat consumption and opting for plant-based alternatives, individuals can help reduce their ecological footprint. Research by Tilman and Clark (Reference: Tilman & Clark, 2014) suggests that shifting towards plant-based diets can have significant environmental benefits.

Promoting Sustainable Transportation:

Individuals can also contribute to reducing their ecological footprint by choosing sustainable modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, or using public transportation whenever feasible. Research conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (Reference: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015) highlights the environmental benefits of using public transit and the importance of reducing reliance on private vehicles.

Average Earths Per Person Jose10.3 Ralph4.5 Lucy6.1 Jazmin6.6 Malik7.1 Cassandra4.7 Johnathan6.1 Jacquelyn6.7 Brandon6.4 Johnny4.1 Jordan11.2 Maurice3.3 Christopher5.6 Haley3.5 Daniel3.1 Heidi1.5 Marc5.1 David7.3 Steeve15.9 Sandra5.8 Benjamin4.6 Justin3.7 Zachary4.1 Hamlin4

Data project 2:

PART I

The data was compiled using a reliable methodology, and no web tool was utilized. The mean and sample size for each result will be presented, followed by the main findings and trends depicted in a table to allow for a comprehensive interpretation of the data, aiding in understanding the implications for carbon footprints. Regarding home energy, the primary heating source for the class participants was electricity. Unfortunately, this data point’s specific mean and sample size were not provided. While electricity is a common heating source in many households due to its convenience, it is worth noting that it can contribute significantly to carbon emissions depending on the energy generation methods employed by local power grids.

Concerning transportation, the class data revealed that the average number of vehicles per household was two. Regular maintenance was reported to be performed on these vehicles. Additionally, the total weekly mileage for all vehicles combined was 30 miles. Regarding waste, the average waste emissions for a household of six people were reported to be 4,697 lbs of CO2. Recycling efforts resulted in the saving of 1,284 lbs of CO2 emissions. These figures highlight the substantial environmental impact of waste management practices and underscore the importance of sustainable waste disposal methods, such as recycling, to reduce carbon footprints.

Considering the carbon footprint of the participant’s household, which has a size of six individuals, it was determined to be 18,974 lbs. This value encompasses the combined effects of home energy consumption, transportation choices, and waste management. Remarkably, the most significant contributor to the household’s carbon footprint was identified as transportation. This finding aligns with the course concepts, emphasizing the significance of transportation-related emissions and the need for sustainable alternatives.

Upon examining the presented data, some trends and observations emerge. A crucial insight is the dominance of electricity as the primary heating source implies the potential for carbon emissions associated with energy generation. Exploring cleaner and renewable energy options could contribute to reducing environmental impacts. Another observation is that the class data’s transportation aspect reflects the importance of considering vehicle efficiency and usage patterns. It is necessary to optimize travel distances and explore alternative transportation methods, such as carpooling or public transit, which can aid in mitigating carbon footprints.

Finally, waste management practices play a substantial role in carbon emissions. The data suggests that the average waste emissions for a household of six people are considerable. Individuals can significantly impact the environment by increasing recycling efforts and adopting sustainable waste reduction practices. Considering the trends observed in the class data, it is vital to highlight the need for sustainable decision-making to reduce carbon footprints.

PART II

The first solution to address the highlighted problems is ensuring the home utilizes sustainable energy. Home energy consumption has a significant carbon footprint, which can be addressed by transitioning to a renewable energy source. Specifically, an intervention that can yield immediate results is to install solar panels on the roof to utilize the sun’s energy. Research has been conducted detailing the benefits of using solar panels to reduce carbon footprint. Kikuchi et al. (2009)highlight that residential settings that utilize solar photovoltaic systems have a significant capacity to reduce their overall carbon footprint. The government also supports this move as the federal solar Investment Tax Credit was expanded in 2022 to provide Americans with incentives to install solar systems in their residences in specific regions (Department of Energy, 2022).

The second solution is to engage in sustainable transportation. In general, transportation relies heavily on burning fossil fuels, making it a significant contributor to carbon emissions. However, the advancement of electric cars (EVs) makes them a prime option for reducing carbon footprint via transportation. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and can be powered by renewable energy sources. The government is a prime player in ensuring people adopt EVs and, as stated earlier, can offer financial incentives, including tax credits, to encourage more people to make the switch.

Efficient waste management plays a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions. The implementation of comprehensive recycling programs can significantly decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills. Composting is another actionable solution for waste management to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills. Compost can improve soil quality, reduce the need for fertilizers, and help mitigate climate change.Although not usually mentioned, education and awareness are critical interventions that can be used to enhance sustainable action (Wamsler, 2020). behavioral changes can be encouragedby educating individuals about the importance of reducing carbon footprints and providing practical tips. Awareness campaigns, community workshops, and school programs can promote knowledge and sustainable choices.

Conclusion

Addressing the environmental problems reflected in the class data requires a multifaceted approach. Sustainable solutions such as transitioning to renewable energy sources, promoting electric vehicles, implementing efficient waste management systems, increasing education and awareness, and the government developing policies that offer incentives for behavior change that can reduce carbon footprints. These solutions are relevant and attainable with the support of scientific research, governmental initiatives, and community participation.

Data project #3:

PART I

The data was compiled using a reliable methodology, and no web tool was utilized. The mean and sample size for each result will be presented, followed by the main findings and trends depicted in a table to allow for a comprehensive interpretation of the data, aiding in understanding the implications for carbon footprints. Regarding home energy, the primary heating source for the class participants was electricity. Unfortunately, this data point’s specific mean and sample size were not provided. While electricity is a common heating source in many households due to its convenience, it is worth noting that it can contribute significantly to carbon emissions depending on the energy generation methods employed by local power grids.

Concerning transportation, the class data revealed that the average number of vehicles per household was two. Regular maintenance was reported to be performed on these vehicles. Additionally, the total weekly mileage for all vehicles combined was 30 miles. Regarding waste, the average waste emissions for a household of six people were reported to be 4,697 lbs of CO2. Recycling efforts resulted in the saving of 1,284 lbs of CO2 emissions. These figures highlight the substantial environmental impact of waste management practices and underscore the importance of sustainable waste disposal methods, such as recycling, to reduce carbon footprints.

Considering the carbon footprint of the participant’s household, which has a size of six individuals, it was determined to be 18,974 lbs. This value encompasses the combined effects of home energy consumption, transportation choices, and waste management. Remarkably, the most significant contributor to the household’s carbon footprint was identified as transportation. This finding aligns with the course concepts, emphasizing the significance of transportation-related emissions and the need for sustainable alternatives.

Upon examining the presented data, some trends and observations emerge. A crucial insight is the dominance of electricity as the primary heating source implies the potential for carbon emissions associated with energy generation. Exploring cleaner and renewable energy options could contribute to reducing environmental impacts. Another observation is that the class data’s transportation aspect reflects the importance of considering vehicle efficiency and usage patterns. It is necessary to optimize travel distances and explore alternative transportation methods, such as carpooling or public transit, which can aid in mitigating carbon footprints.

Finally, waste management practices play a substantial role in carbon emissions. The data suggests that the average waste emissions for a household of six people are considerable. Individuals can significantly impact the environment by increasing recycling efforts and adopting sustainable waste reduction practices. Considering the trends observed in the class data, it is vital to highlight the need for sustainable decision-making to reduce carbon footprints.

PART II

The first solution to address the highlighted problems is ensuring the home utilizes sustainable energy. Home energy consumption has a significant carbon footprint, which can be addressed by transitioning to a renewable energy source. Specifically, an intervention that can yield immediate results is to install solar panels on the roof to utilize the sun’s energy. Research has been conducted detailing the benefits of using solar panels to reduce carbon footprint. Kikuchi et al. (2009)highlight that residential settings that utilize solar photovoltaic systems have a significant capacity to reduce their overall carbon footprint. The government also supports this move as the federal solar Investment Tax Credit was expanded in 2022 to provide Americans with incentives to install solar systems in their residences in specific regions (Department of Energy, 2022).

The second solution is to engage in sustainable transportation. In general, transportation relies heavily on burning fossil fuels, making it a significant contributor to carbon emissions. However, the advancement of electric cars (EVs) makes them a prime option for reducing carbon footprint via transportation. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and can be powered by renewable energy sources. The government is a prime player in ensuring people adopt EVs and, as stated earlier, can offer financial incentives, including tax credits, to encourage more people to make the switch.

Efficient waste management plays a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions. The implementation of comprehensive recycling programs can significantly decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills. Composting is another actionable solution for waste management to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills. Compost can improve soil quality, reduce the need for fertilizers, and help mitigate climate change.Although not usually mentioned, education and awareness are critical interventions that can be used to enhance sustainable action (Wamsler, 2020). behavioral changes can be encouragedby educating individuals about the importance of reducing carbon footprints and providing practical tips. Awareness campaigns, community workshops, and school programs can promote knowledge and sustainable choices.

Conclusion

Addressing the environmental problems reflected in the class data requires a multifaceted approach. Sustainable solutions such as transitioning to renewable energy sources, promoting electric vehicles, implementing efficient waste management systems, increasing education and awareness, and the government developing policies that offer incentives for behavior change that can reduce carbon footprints. These solutions are relevant and attainable with the support of scientific research, governmental initiatives, and community participation.

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