Ecological Footprint? Are we asking the right questions and measuring the right things?

Am I the only one who found issues with this survey? Is the survey not extremely generic? The following is a list of some of the key issues I had with the survey.

  • Why is it that when asked how many km you travel per year for each mode of transportation you are not given you the option of biking, walking, rollerblading etc as other modes of transportation?
  • Why doesn’t the survey taken into account the various seasons in Canada and how it affects the population’s  food source, mode of transportation, as well as its way of living.
    • For example I had a hard time answering the question about where I obtained most of my food. During the summer months we grow our vegetables, herbs, and fruits. We also freeze a small supply for the winter months. However, this option is not available to us in the winter months. I would have thus liked to see this question separated into various sub questions identifying food sources per season. Or perhaps an option to use % of time.
    • Similarly whether or not the foods that we select are certified organic or sustainably produced and where we obtain most of our food depends on the season.
      • My mother is quite the supermom, she makes her own pickles, jam, tomato paste, tomato sauce, cheeses, bread etc…
  • Can We Trust ‘Organic’? Certified organic or sustainable produced? Is this just ‘greenwash’?
    • In 2008 over 98% of the North American products that were surveyed were found guilty of Greenwashing.
    • Brief,the products “claims were tested against best practices, notably against guidelines provided by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Competition Bureau of Canada, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, and the ISO 14021standard for environmental labeling. “
    • You can read more about this report and greenwashing at the following link: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/07/organic-label-greenwashing.php
  • What best describes your diet?
  • Again I find the choices to be too generic. Although I do occasionally eat some meat and dairy, my main food source is fruit and vegetables. Maybe a percentage selection would be more suitable here.
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Posted in ecological footprint, greenwash, sustainable living

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