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a) Context: The Ecological footprint measures how fast we consume resources and generate
waste. You can call it an accounting system that measures the demand on and supply of
natural resources. This resource accounting is similar to life cycle analysis wherein the
consumption of energy, biomass (food, fibre), building material, water and other resources
are converted into a normalized measure of land area called global hectares (gha).
b) Purpose: In this assignment, you will be working on understanding your food, water
consumption and waste habits. This assignment will help you understand your personal
relationship to food, water consumption and waste management habits to further your
environmental thinking in terms of ecological footprint.
• You must answer all the questions (Water Consumption, Food & Agriculture and Waste
• If the question is worth 2 marks the maximum length of the answer can be one and half
• If the question is worth 1 mark the maximum length of the answer can be one page.
• For 0.5 mark, the maximum length of the answer can be half a page.
• Please use scholarly sources to write a strong answer using APA style of referencing.
Lectures slides can be referenced as well, Verma R., 2015, Lecture Topic, slide number.
For help on APA citations, see http://www.apastyle.org/.
d) Formatting: Your assignment must include a title page with the course number, the
instructor’s name, your name and student number, the date, and your TAs name. Margins
must be 2.5 cm on all sides. Use Times New Roman font with a point size of 12. Line
spacing must be set at 1.5 lines.
Context: The average Canadian consumes approximately 360 litres of water per day, whereas, in
the Sahel region of Africa, the per capita usage is between 5 to 10 liters/person/day. There is a
huge disparity between countries in terms of water consumption which is being exacerbated by
the current climate crisis.
Purpose: To understand your personal water consumption habits to further your environmental
To determine your total water footprint, go to the following site: www.waterfootprint.org
• Read the introduction on the home page
• Click on the Water Footprint tab at the
top of the page.
• Read this page and then near the bottom,
click on “Find out more” tab under the
Personal water footprint section.
• On this page, scroll to near the bottom
and click on the “Personal Footprint
• In the “Select a Country” drop down
menu, select your country, and complete
the short survey.
• At the bottom of this results page, click
on the “Extended Calculator”.
Complete this much more detailed
survey. If you don’t know the answer to
a question, estimate as best as you can.
To the right are some conversions to help
• Print screen/capture the results page
from your extended calculator and
attach to your assignment
1. Attach your personal water footprint breakdown and discuss these trends, including the
food component. How might you decrease your personal water footprint? (2 marks)
2. How might your personal water footprint differ from someone living in the Sahel region
of Africa? Describe these differences (1 mark)
3. Where and how do people living in Toronto get their water from? Please describe the
process from source to tap. (1 mark).
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Context: Food is one of the necessities of life. It nourishes our body and give us energy to get
through each day. Healthy eating is fundamental to good health and key elements in healthy human
development, from the prenatal and early childhood years to later life stages.
However, where our food comes from and how it is grown has serious implications for the global
climate. Modern agricultural methods often exploit environmental resources and rely on inputs of
fertilizer and pesticides in order to produce food, which has a cascading effect on the ecosystem.
Purpose: This assignment will help you understand your personal consumption habits and
cropping system to further your environmental thinking.
1. Define what a “locavore” is (0.5 marks). Do you have any items in your refrigerator which
would adhere to a locavore diet? Please list these items and describe where they came from.
If you do not have any, please mention five items which COULD be bought to adhere to a
locavore diet, in the spring/summer season (0.5 marks). Describe the benefits and
challenges of being a locavore within your particular area (1 mark).
2. What is Doomsday Vault? (0.5 mark). Why is it important for the future survival of
cropping and agriculture? (1 mark).
3. What is green revolution? (0.5 mark). How did it change the cropping system of the world?
Context: Humans are increasingly generating tremendous amounts of waste which clogs our
natural world. Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about where our waste ends up. But as
you know materials are never destroyed or created, they are just transformed from one shape to
Waste can be solid, liquid, or gas and each type have different methods of disposal and
management. Waste management deals with all types of waste, including industrial, biological and
household. In some cases, waste can pose a threat to human and ecosystem health.
As people become aware of waste disposal problems in their communities, we are recycling more
materials. Some things are easy to recycle, such as newsprint, office paper, or aluminum drink
cans. Other things are harder to classify. Most of us give up quickly and throw things in the trash
if we have to think too hard about how to recycle them.
Follow your waste management habits over TWO days and catalogue everything you dispose of
in the garbage, recycling, Green bin or hazardous waste. Use the following guidelines provided by
the City of Toronto (Waste Wizard), in order to check where items should be disposed of.
ITEM DISPOSAL METHOD
Apple peel Green Bin
Used Paper Recycling Bin
ITEM DISPOSAL METHOD
1. Please complete the 2-day waste disposal diary (following the format above) and
comment on your personal garbage footprint (0.5 marks). There are various ways of
managing your garbage footprint, how can you alter your habits to reduce your waste
generation or mange it wisely? (1 mark)
2. What are the various streams of waste management at University of Toronto, St. George
campus? (0.5 mark). Describe the specific objectives of the University of Toronto’s
Environmental Protection Policy (2010) (0.5 mark).
3. Ontario is facing looming waste crisis. Based on the article listed below, what are the main
issues facing waste management in Ontario? (0.5 mark). The author states in the article
that, “The key to avoiding a garbage crisis in Ontario is to recognize that a problem is
looming and figure out where the pressure points in the system are and how to ease them.
It’s a problem that has solutions…” Using other sources, what are some of the possible
solutions to Ontario’s waste management crisis. (2 marks).
4. For more than 50 years, global production and consumption of plastics have continued to
rise. Most of the plastics end up in our waterways and eventually in the oceans. What is
great Pacific garbage patch? (0.5 mark). Explain the mechanisms that created the North
Pacific garbage patch? (0.5 mark).
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