Examine your impact on the environment and determine if there are appropriate and desirable

Examine your impact on the environment and determine if there are appropriate and desirable actions to ameliorate these impacts. To create an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the NEPA of 1970. Which include the following outline as decreibeed in the attached documents Title Page: Description of The Proposed Action. Existing Environmental Conditions and Anticipated Environmental Impacts: Mitigation of Adverse Impacts: Adverse Environmental Impacts Which Cannot be Avoided: Positive or Growth Inducing Aspects of the Proposed Actions: Alternatives to the Proposed Action: Bibliography and Sources:


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Defining Your Environmental Impact
In order to better appreciate your impact on the Earth and its resources this lab will permit you
to collect some data based upon your lifestyle and then analyze this information to better
determine your current environmental impacts and then plan scenarios to determine what
changes you could make to lessen your impact.
In the first exercise you will calculate your ecological footprint. An ecological footprint is a
measure of your demands on the Earth and its natural and biological systems. It compares your
demand with Earth’s capacity to supply the necessary requisites to support your lifestyle and
the Earth’s ability to regenerate. To aid in visualizing the concept, it is usually expressed in
terms of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources you
consume and to absorb and render harmless any wastes produced directly or indirectly by your
lifestyle. Using web-based tools, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (sometimes
expressed as how many planet Earths or how many acres) it would take to support the world
population if everyone maintained a lifestyle the same as you.
After calculating your ecological footprint, you will carefully examine it and then construct
scenarios that could potentially lessen your impact. While doing this you will discover what
changes might be easy to implement and what changes could pose a hardship.
In the second exercise you will focus on one part of your lifestyle and carefully examine and
analyze it to determine specific impacts. Here you will employ a cost/benefit analysis to
determine if there are concrete changes that you can, should or are willing to make.
Your Ecological footprint
There are several ecological footprint calculators available on the internet, but two that I want
you to use. The first time you use each calculator input information as accurately as you can
(be honest). Also note: calculators ask for email but it is optional. They do require a zipcode.
The first calculator is:
The Global Footprint Network (You can click on the diamond or the url)
Use the “adult version” of this calculator to determine your ecological footprint. Record and
identify (which calculator) the results. Here you can “cut and paste” the results or place them
into a table of your own for the report.
Human Ecology BIOL 112 2
Defining Your Environmental Impact
The second calculator is:
Redefining Progress
This second calculator is a bit more complicated, but still very user friendly. Again, you need to
identify the record and identify the results.
Once you have the data from the two sites:
1. Summarize the information from both sites. Again, here you can cut and paste or
reorganize in your own format. (Be sure to clearly identify which data is from which site.)
Your analysis should include but not be limited to: What contributes most to your
footprint? How does your footprint compare to others? Did any aspects of your
footprint surprise you?
2. Compare and contrast the data. Are there differences? Do the two calculators show
similar trends? Are there portions of the calculators that differ greatly?
3. After examining the results from the calculators, rerun the calculators two additional
times with the following changes:
a. Modest changes: Examine your original footprint and then attempt to make some
small, modest changes to your lifestyle—things you might “really” do. Report
what changes you propose, your reasoning, and the resulting footprint data.
b. Drastic changes: Rerun the calculators with large, life changing concessions.
This is probably fantasy—you (me too) aren’t likely to make such changes, but
run the numbers to see what would happen. Again record the footprint
statistics, parameters you changed, and your reasons for changing.
c. Now discuss the changes in these two new scenarios with those your originally
obtained. Is there room for improvement? Can minor changes make any
difference? Do changes in some categories make a bigger difference than
others? How likely/willing would you be to make some of the proposed
changes? Etc.
4. Summarize the footprint results. Provide your reactions, comments, insights.
Detailed Analysis
Now that you have a better understanding of the relationship between lifestyle and
environmental impacts I want you to focus on a particular facet of your lifestyle and more
Human Ecology BIOL 112 3
Defining Your Environmental Impact
closely examine it. You can choose any activity, aspect or object you wish. Examples include:
your office, job, car, hobby, house, boat, sports, etc. what you choose is up to you!
1. Start this section with “I have chosen to more closely examine the environmental
impacts of _________________.” Briefly explain your choice and why.
2. Analyze all the direct environmental impacts of your item. For example with an
automobile: amount of energy used (gallons in a year or month), amount of carbon
dioxide produced, amount of other pollutants, tires, oil, antifreeze, washing and waxing,
etc. If you chose golfing—travel, equipment, green and fairway up-keep, etc. Be as
precise and exact as you can. Information for some items will be more readily
accessible that others.
3. Analyze all the indirect environmental impacts. Again using a car: construction, sales,
delivery/transport, disposal.
4. Discuss and strategize how the direct and indirect impacts could be lessened or
eliminated. Try to be realistic.
5. Summarize and draw conclusions from this focused analysis. What would happen if
many people applied your concepts?
You will need to conduct research for this topic. I have provided the “footprint” websites, but
expect you to find the other information on your own.
Make this report a coherent work. Organize material and write it so that its “tells a story” and
guides the reader. Remember this is a report, not a question and answer sheet. Write in essay
formation, not Q and A.
Be sure to label all the data and materials so that the reader knows which scenario is presented,
what the data represents, etc.
Be sure to credit/cite all information and include bibliographic information at the end of your
General format
You have considerable freedom in organizing and presenting the information, but I require the
following overall structure. Your paper must have the following section headings:
Human Ecology BIOL 112 4
Defining Your Environmental Impact
Title with your name included
Ecological footprint
Current footprint Data
Global footprint Network
Redefining Progress
Modifications to My Footprint
Modest changes
Drastic changes
Detailed analysis of ___________
Direct impacts of ________
Indirect impacts associated with _________
Alternations to decrease or lessen impacts
Human Ecology BIOL 112 5
Defining Your Environmental Impact
I will use the following point allocation to evaluate your report:
Point value
Follow format, organization within prescribed format
Footprint data presentation
Information from websites in accurately represented
Footprint data analysis
Scenario data presentation
Scenario data analysis
is logical and easy to understand
You appropriately discussed the results and
thoughtfully examined the information
Information from websites in accurately
represented—clearly identified as to scenario type
Thoughtful analysis of data, coherently discussed
Was an attempt made to summarize and intelligently
discuss the footprint data and scenarios
Analysis of direct impacts
How complete is the analysis?
Analysis of indirect impacts
How complete is the analysis?
Alterations to lessen impacts
Are alternatives realistic and well thought out?
Summary for detailed analysis
Is there a summary? Are conclusions presented?
Are citations provided within the report? Are sources
listed in bibliography?
Are the choices made for analysis novel and
interesting? Is information presented in a clever or
interesting way? Were unique, but choices made?
Authenticity and correctness
Is the information presented correct? Is data used to
support analysis? Grammatically correct?
The purpose of this assignment is for you to examine your impact on the environment and
determine if there are appropriate and desirable actions to ameliorate these impacts. The
underlying principle of this assignment is that we all have lifestyles which often adversely
impact on the environment and natural resources, but that many of these impacts can be
lessen if we are aware of alternatives and are willing to make small, but substantive
changes in our lives. As this assignment is completed, it is hoped that some of the
necessary lifestyle alterations will be implemented. Another important aspect of this
assignment is to gain first-hand experience with “environmental decision” making tools
such as cost/benefit analysis and the Environmental Impact Statement as required by the
NEPA of 1970. This experience will include, but is not limited to: (1) an understanding
of the NEPA process, (2) appreciation of the information found in the EIS, (3) the
potential role the public and associated agencies may play in the NEPA process, and (4) an
appreciation of the regulatory process with its costs and benefits.
Possible items for analysis: A hobby or aspect of your job. For example: skiing, knitting,
painting, sports, weight-lifting, playing computer games, a food item, flyfishing, a trip to
dentist, model building, boating, model train sets, etc. A task you must complete as part of
your job or lifestyle. The point is, you are to select an item of interest to you and one that
is part of your lifestyle— not a broad analysis of all such activities. For example: It would
be appropriate to examine environmental impacts of weekend sailing trips you take on
Chesapeake Bay, but not an analysis of the sailing industry on the Chesapeake—it must be
The form of the Personal Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is to follow as closely
as possible the format of the EIS statements often prepared by industry and government
under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970. A copy
of NEPA is posted on the website.
The PEIS will contain the following sections with headings:
Title Page: The title should be descriptive of your analysis and should provide the reader
with an accurate idea of what you will be examining. [Example: Analysis of the
Environmental Impact of Multiple Weekend Sailing trips on Chesapeake Bay.]
Description of The Proposed Action. In this section you describe how you will complete
your analysis. Here you need to explain the action or activity you plan to examine.
What aspects of your lifestyle are you going to examine? Will you examine the lifestyle
limited to living in a dormitory? Living off campus? Living at home? Are you going to
include your activity on the job? Will you examine impacts of your whole family or limit
to only your impacts? Will you discuss the environmental impact during the Sumer when
you live at home with your family? Will you keep track of the amount of paper products
used during some time frame? Keep a log of the approximate amount of water used per
week? Number of miles traveled by car, bus, train, etc? The amount of electricity used?
[These questions are only intended to guide or shape the description of your proposed
action. If you are still confused or need help, please ask.]
Existing Environmental Conditions and Anticipated Environmental Impacts: In this part
of the PEIS you should catalog the environmental impacts that result from your lifestyle.
Include here any data you have gathered. In the context of this exercise “data” should be
considered information you collect or information you obtain from library, internet or of
research. The most efficient way to approach this section may be to list (with a brief
explanation) each of the impacts you considered.
Mitigation of Adverse Impacts: Here I want you to evaluate the impacts elucidated in the
previous sections and determine which ones, if any you could eliminate or lessen. Be
realistic, propose changes in lifestyle that are “do-able”, things you could live with and
actually do without major effort. For example: purchase products with less packaging
material and thereby reduce your input to landfills, or take shorter showers to reduce
water use and energy consumption. Such seemingly small behavior changes can result in
a large energy and resource savings. Be creative! Think about what you do, how you do
it and what you might do differently!
Adverse Environmental Impacts Which Cannot be Avoided: We all need to make
choices, but no matter how environmentally conscience we are, there are going to be
negative impacts to our lifestyles which cannot or will not be changed. In this section
you are to determine these unavoidable impacts. What are they? How severe do you
think they are? In your estimation, are these unavoidable impacts common to others or
unique to you? Why are they unavoidable? Economics? Laws? Government
Positive or Growth Inducing Aspects of the Proposed Actions: This section should
contain an evaluation of savings that will occur if and when you proposed changes are
implemented. How much energy saved? How much less solid waste produced? How
much would pollution emissions be lessened? What would happen if your changes were
adopted by your classmates, family or friends?
Alternatives to the Proposed Action: All environmental impact statements are required
by law to contain a section which discusses alternates to the proposed action and their
likely consequences. The alternatives in this case might be only partial implementation
of your proposal, wide spread implementation, trial implementation. One alternative that
must, by law, be included is no action—i.e. the status quo.
Bibliography and Sources: As is the case with all writing, if you use other people’s ideas
or thoughts you must give them credit and provide a reference to the reader.
The subject headings described above should be listed in the paper. The length will be
determined by the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the analysis.
This assignment is valued at 75 points toward the final course grade (over 3 times the
value of an IA) and should therefore demonstrate commensurate effort and time. I expect
that you will work diligently on this assignment and that diligence will be apparent in the
final product. The grade for the paper will be based upon the following criteria:
Does the student demonstrate an understanding of the subject material? Is the
material presented in a comprehensible fashion? How much learning took place?
If reaction or opinion is included, is it logically developed and supported with
data or references? Are there references and citations along with a bibliography?
Is the appropriate information present and in proper format?
demonstrate an integration of topics? Headings in place?
Did the student accurately proofread the paper? Are there numerous spelling
errors? Is sentence structure appropriate?
Is there some creativity and/or thoughtfulness demonstrated in the selection of a
topic and analysis of the problem?
What is the quality of references and citation materials used in the analysis?
Does the paper
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended
(Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub. L. 94-52, July 3, 1975,
Pub. L. 94-83, August 9, 1975, and Pub. L. 97-258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982)
An Act to establish a national policy for the environment, to provide for the establishment of a Council on
Environmental Quality, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.”
Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321].
The purposes of this Act are: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable
harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to
the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding
of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on
Environmental Quality.
Sec. 101 [42 USC § 4331].
(a) The Congress, recognizing the profound impact of man’s activity on the interrelations of all
components of the natural environment, particularly the profound influences of population growth, highdensity urbanization, industrial expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding technological
advances and recognizing further the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental
quality to the overall welfare and development of man, declares that it is the continuing policy of the
Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and
private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical
assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain
conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic,
and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.
(b) In order to carry out the policy set forth in this Act, it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal
Government to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national
policy, to improve and coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the
Nation may -1. fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding
2. assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing
3. attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or
safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;
4. preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain,
wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity, and variety of individual choice;
5. achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living
and a wide sharing of life’s amenities; and
6. enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of
depletable resources.
(c) The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healthful environment and that each
person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
Sec. 102 [42 USC § 4332].
The Congress authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possible: (1) the policies, regulations, and
public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set
forth in this Act, and (2) all agencies of the Federal Government shall -(A) utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will insure the integrated use of the
natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and in decisionmaking
which may have an impact on man’s environment;
(B) identify and develop methods and procedures, in consultation with the Council on
Environmental Quality established by title II of this Ac …
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