Goodbye Burgers, Hello Sustainability

Well, its January, which means that three pretty big things are going on this month:

1)   Classes have resumed.

2)   People make (and try to hold) New Years Resolutions.

3)   Boomuary! For those who are not familiar with Boomers, the famous Bellingham burger joint, “Boomuary” is that special time of year where ALL Boomers burgers are only $2.99.

So what do these three January happenings have to do with my Marketing blog and where am I going with this? Well, lets start with item number one on my list:

1) School has resumed! Last quarter I was using this blog to talk about all the awesome topics I was learning about in my Digital Marketing class. Now that it’s a new quarter, I’m enrolled in a whole new set of marketing classes, one of which is Marketing Strategies for Sustainability. Just giving you all a heads up so that you aren’t confused when I start posting about topics like Green Marketing, Ecological Footprints, and Product Life Cycle and Design Strategies, and stop talking as much about those nerdy (but equally as cool) topics like SEO, and coding.

2) New Years Resolutions: This year I had been avoiding making New Years Resolutions, but one of the things that we will be doing in my Marketing Sustainability class is commit to three actions to help reduce our ecological footprint. I started off by taking this quiz by the Center for Sustainable Economy, which takes into account how much food you consume, the goods and services you purchase, your home energy use, transportation, and waste. After completion of the quiz, you are presented with a calculation that displays how many acres of land and ocean would be required to support that kind of lifestyle, if everyone on the world lived your standard of living,

I’m kind of embarrassed to show my results, but here they are:

Quiz Results

My Footprint by Category

Sadly it would take 4.75 earths to sustain my lifestyle, if everyone else in the planet were to follow my poor example. So now that I am convicted (and hopefully you have taken the quiz and are convicted as well), here are my resolutions for hopefully making a difference and reduce my carbon footprint:

  • I will take much shorter showers. On average my showers last 10-20 minutes, and I shower twice a day. Instead, I will be trying to cut down my shower time to 5 minutes, once a day.
  • I live in a house with 6 other college students and we do a pretty poor job of taking advantage of the exceptional sanitary services provided by Bellingham. We do have recycling bins on our deck, but most of the time we are too lazy to put our recycling outside in the designated bins. More often than not paper products go straight into the trash because of our own laziness. I will be changing this.
  • The consumption category in which I am over the country average is the food footprint category. I grew up eating meat for at least two meals a day and out of habit and convenience I eat a meat sandwich every day for lunch. I rarely buy organic food, not because I don’t care about it, but because organic food is generally more expensive. I am a poor college student so it is hard for me to justify spending that additional money when I don’t have much in my budget for food. Despite being price sensitive, I am going to try to purchase more organic produce. Not only that, but after reading that raising livestock for food is responsible for 18% of global climate change, and how you can produce enough peanuts to make 17 pb&j sandwiches with the same amount of water that it takes to make the beef for one (yes, 1) burger (http://www.pbjcampaign.org/index.html), I will also be attempting to cut down the amount of meat I consume in my diet from twice a day to only twice a week. Which leads me to the third point on my January list:

3) Confession: I may have partaken in Boomuary today… And it was delicious. I also bought both lunchmeat and cheese today while I was doing my grocery shopping for the week. But now that I’m staring at my results, I’m feeling a tad bit guilty. However, all that was BEFORE I took the test and set my goals, so don’t you be judging too hard on me! I am a sucker for those burgers and fries, so this will be an interesting journey for me, but living a lifestyle that would take 4.75 planets to support is completely irresponsible on my part.

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One response to “Goodbye Burgers, Hello Sustainability

  1. Lena — these seem like reasonable goals requiring significant changes! I like your specificity, it will make your commitments easier to implement. Good luck! 50/50 points

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