Predeparture

Predeparture pages for sustainability definitions, carbon footprints and water footprints.

Responses

  1. I define sustainability as: Policies and strategies that that allow current society to prosper without jeopardizing future generations, that do not undermine the natural environment as well as decrease resource use in both business lives and public lives.

    My calculated water footprint was 1959 Cubic feet per year.

    My calculated carbon footprint was 79.07 metric tons per year.

    I calculated my water footprint as an individual because it was easiest to gauge my life since I live away from my family and do not know all of their water use habits. However, I calculated my carbon footprint with estimations of my family because many of the questions I didn’t know how to estimate when I live in a college dorm room.

    Both Sydney Olympic Park and Murray-Darling River Basin were very significant because of their issues with water. The story of Murray-Darling River Basin sounds like an absolute tragedy. I’ve learned about how the famers who depend on water are not getting the water they need for their crops and are unable to feed or take care of their livestock. This is especially tragic when the water they are not receiving is still costing them money for their share. It is clear that some very unsustainable decisions were made and many are hurting by the consequences of those decisions. However, at Sydney Olympic Park a proactive response has been underway to conserve the water. Sydney has been operating under Water Reclamation and Management Scheme or WRAMS. They have provided water saving devices that allow for duel water supply infrastructure, water harvesting as well as created water features. Both of these locations show the extreme sides of what can happen when sustainable decisions are made. Clearly Sydney Olympic Park is on the right track and we should continue to push for places like Murray-Darling Basin to resort to more sustainable options before it is too late.

    I can apply some of these comparisons to my project by taking note of water systems within our time in Australia. If I see or hear about tactics or structures that are used to generate a more sustainable environment I can ask about them, take pictures of them or film them. I want to be able to compare Australia’s strategies with environmental strategies taken on by my local community.

  2. Sustainability covers many different aspects that can be applied to almost all components of life. I define sustainability as biological systems that improve the natural wellbeing of the earth. Sustainability is a way of organizing human activity so that the society is able to meet its needs and express its potential while also preserving organisms and ecosystems. By avoiding depletion of our natural resources, we improve the sustainability of the earth.

    The results of my calculated water footprint are as follows:
    My total household water use is 5,787.40 gallons per day.
    My individual water use is 964.57 gallons per day.

    The results of my calculated carbon (ecological) footprint is as follows:
    If everyone lived like me, it would take 4.3 planet Earths to provide enough resources.
    To support my lifestyle, it takes 19.3 global acres of the Earth’s productive areas (19.6 tons of carbon dioxide).
    My ecological footprint breaks down to services (46%), goods (22%), food (13%), shelter (12%), and mobility (7%).

    I calculated my footprints based off of my family, since I do not have a car at school and I know more about my household appliances than I do about the appliances here at Michigan State University. I do agree with my calculated values for the most part. My family is environmentally friendly when it comes to recycling cans and plastic, donating old clothing, and eating less animal products. My family does, however, use a lot of water! All of our showerheads are very strong, laundry is frequently running, and the dishes are constantly being done. I can definitely see ways in which my family and I can reduce our water and carbon footprints.

    Sydney Olympic Park is an extremely important location in terms of sustainability. The park uses sustainable measures in order to best preserve water, energy, lighting, biodiversity, etc. I learned that the Sydney Olympic Park manages water efficiently by providing a broad array of water saving devices, dual water supply infrastructure, and drought tolerant plantings. Sydney Olympic Park also showcases a variety of energy-efficient building designs and technologies that help conserve energy, lighting, and environmental outcomes. The Murray-Darling River Basin, on the other hand, is on the opposite track of the Sydney Olympic Park. Reading about the Murray-Darling River Basin informed me of the catastrophe occurring in Australia. The basin is undergoing a seven-year drought that has led to serious flaws, such as shortages of food and drinks and crops and animals being completely wiped out. I learned that the Murray-Darling River Basin is the water source for the city of Adelaide and provides 65% of all water used for the country’s agriculture! The drought effects Australia’s population, including major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. We need to focus on effective sustainable approaches, like the Sydney Olympic Park is doing, to try and save the Murray-Darling River Basin.

    I can apply what I learned in this orientation to my project in many different ways. The basis of my project is introducing sustainability to elementary or middle school students in a lesson plan format and allowing them to get more familiar with issues going on in the world around them. Learning about the Sydney Olympic Park makes me want to incorporate an activity to help “my students” become more familiar with issues of sustainability. I could split the class into groups and do some sort of jigsaw reading with the various links on the Sydney Olympic Park website. They could then fill out a chart of what they learned regarding water, energy and lighting, remediation, history, etc, of the park. We could read the Murray-Darling River Basin article as a class and complete an activity to enhance their understanding of an important issue going on in a country that is foreign to them. This article really helps remind people how important sustainability is. We could compare the positive outcomes of the Sydney Olympic Park to the negative outcomes of the Murray-Darling River Basin.

  3. I define sustainability as: Procedures and processes to continue a long and environmentally stable life as humans on this earth. This would include meeting the needs of people through practices that insure its longevity and not ruin this wonderful planet for future generations. By becoming sustainable you must be looking at long-term goals that would allow people to continue living a comfortable life without causing permanent environmental damage.

    The results of my calculated water footprint are as follows: 

    My total household water use is 4352.27 gallons per day. 

    My individual water use is 870.47 gallons per day.

    My calculated carbon footprint was 51.16 metric tons of C02.

    I calculated my water and carbon footprints by including my family of 5. I believe that these estimations are correct and could even be a little higher if other areas were taken in to account. My family uses quite a lot of water and I can see where we can cut back. Like other people in this group my family is constantly doing dishes and laundry but also both my parents drive a lot with quite inefficient cars. Changing driving habits and by using more efficient appliances around the house can easily reduce this overall.

    Sydney Olympic Park demonstrates great uses of sustainable practices. They employ different sustainable measures such as renewable energy, water preservation, and biodiversity. One major thing I learned about the Sydney Olympic Park was how they manage their water. They also use a selection of different energy efficient applications such as lighting, buildings, and other technologies. They also manage their water using a dual water supply system and other water saving strategies.

    The Murray-Darling River Basin is doing the exact opposite of the Sydney Olympic Park. The water problems are forcing farmers to pay for their share of the water without actually getting water to feed their crops which intern feed their livestock. This drought does not only affect the farmers but most of the major cities in Australia. By making unsustainable decisions the river basin is now not running to the open ocean and creating problems throughout Australia. By changing how water is used in the rest of Australia, we could help bring back the Murray-Darling River Basin.

    I can apply this orientation to my final project by looking at the overall environmental strategies used and how their technologies work. Being an engineer, I would like to focus on the technical side of the project. I could ask how each system works and as Ben said take pictures or film each site. This overall will help me in my career by looking at new sustainable technologies that could help generations to come.

  4. My definition of sustainability is: practicing different methods and regulations to sustain or keep natural resources at or above a level that is reasonable for the world to run comfortably, which also includes maintaining a healthy environment for multiple generations to come.

    My carbon footprint calculated from http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx was: 11.44 metric tons of CO¬2 per year
    My personal water footprint calculated from http://www.h20conserve.org/wc_disclaimer.php was: 1075.30 gallons per day
    My household’s water footprint was: 4,301.19 gallons per day

    I calculated my carbon footprint with out including my roommates or family because I don’t know how much they use their cars or any of the other carbon footprint data questions I was asked. On the other hand I included my roommates in my water footprint because I could make reasonable estimates at how much water everyone was using. I feel that my water footprint might be a little high, I just can’t see how I could use 1075 gallons of water every day. That means every year I use 387,000 gallons of water, which is enough to fill more than half of a full sized Olympic swimming pool. As for the carbon footprint I would say that I agree with the estimate because 11.44 metric tons of CO2 per year is fair number for one individual to put out.

    Sydney Olympic Park and the Murray-Darling River Basin are significant because of both of their water issues, good and bad. The Murray-Darling River Basin is the bad; I learned that it is in a 7-year drought, which obviously is a devastating factor to many things such as irrigation and animals. I also found that farmers don’t have enough water to produce their crops. By not having enough produce from their farms, their livestock cannot grow and prosper. Overall the situation in the river basin is horrible and is a result from unsustainable actions. On the other end of the spectrum Sydney Olympic Park is employing sustainable tactics to conserve water and energy. They have a wide array of different ways to save energy from new technology in lights and buildings. This brought together with their dual water system is allowing them to practice sustainable techniques. In my opinion, the Murray-Darling River Basin could be changed over to sustainable practices and hopefully turn around the water shortages.

    Considering my topic for research is solar power, which is another great source for renewable or sustainable energy, I could apply many things I learned to my topic. For example I could incorporate the drought in the Murray-Darling River Basin by using all the sun it gets and converting it to energy via solar panels. Also I could reference all the great ideas and tactics that Sydney Olympic Park uses to save and sustain energy, which would show a positive side that already has renewable energy and energy saving methods in use. All in all I feel that both topics could be great information to include in my final project and I learned a lot from both sides of the spectrum.

  5. Sustainability is the process of living off of an environment and using the resources in a way that not only promotes human life but also promotes the environment itself. We clearly need to use the earth’s resources, but we need to do it in a way that limits pollution, degradation and destruction of the environment itself. Basically, it is important to make sure we use the resources so that they can regenerate themselves and not become destroyed over time. We also need to ensure that the resources will be present in the future. Limiting over-use and being efficient in how we use our environment (as in water consumption, trash removal, chemical toxins, etc) will allow the environment to provide us with resources for a longer period of time.

    I use the h2oconserve website and my water use per day was about 1108.12 gallons. for my household (family of 4), we use 4432.48 gallons per day. Using the footprintnetwork, it said it would take 4.3 planet earths to sustain me. I used household for water and myself for the carbon footprint. I agree with the values because I know I use a lot of energy just for small things like the TV and charging my phone. I am sure it adds up over time. I also drive to work and home for the weekend occasionally. For the water foot print, I was surprised that people in Michigan use so much water a day. I didn’t really think about washing cars or using bottled water as being such a big contributor to the water we all use each day.

    Sydney Olympic Park is very unique in that it is not only a huge attraction site but it also is maintained in a “green” manner. The park also brought about many “green” innovations and buildings in Australia. Solar energy is a huge contributor to the power being used at the park. There is also natural lighting and ventilation structures. These components have allowed to park to prosper even after the Sydney Summer Olympic games in 2000. About 25% of all of the energy being used at the park is powered by “green power” technology. The water recycling system is also a product of the Sydney Olympic Park. This system is the first of its kind and has allowed 850 Liters of water to be saved each year.

    The Murray/Darling River Basin is also significant. The river itself is the water source for Adelaide and provides 65% of the water used for Australian Agriculture. However, the water is quickly being used up. There is currently a drought in the region and the water from the river has been promised to too many people. Because of the drought, farmers have been granted less access to the water and are losing crops and land at an incredible rate. The water from the Murray/Darling is not only being used but it is also drying up. Drought is not the only reason that the water is diminishing so fast. Vegetation practices such as plowing in the basin have destroyed the soil and disrupted the water cycle. The Murray/Darling River has also been manipulated with locks and barrages so that the people can get the most out of the river, especially in times of drought. The significance is that the Murray/Darling River is essentially the only promising source of water for Australia and it is running out quickly.

    For my project, I am looking into obesity and changed eating habits in Australians as related to U.S. globalization. I think that our lifestyles have also influenced the Australians into becoming a more fast food, energy consuming society. These practices have also led to a water situation that will affect how much longer they can continue their lifestyles. Looking into eating habits and how they have affected the land and resources can definitely help my project and provide some explanations to the obesity and health crisis.

  6. To me sustainability is the attempt to improve the quality of human life while living within the means of our eco-system. Human life can always be improved but at the expense of the environment around us. It is important to monitor the impact our decisions make on the environment because although the immediate effects may not always be noticeable, the long term effects can be devastating.

    According to the water calculator I use 1,108.83 gallons of water per day. This does not even include the things I didn’t think of at the time, such as the water used cleaning the dishes in the cafeteria that I use, or the water used washing my sheets that I exchange using the laundry service. The calculator suggested numerous ways in which I would reduce my water usage, which included driving less and drinking less bottled water.

    I also calculated my carbon footprint and how many Earths it would take to support the population if everyone lived like I do. The results showed that it would take 5.6 Earths to provide enough resources for everyone living like me. Most of this carbon comes from food and services. The calculator says that if I reduced the amount of animal-products I eat by half, the number of Earths needed to support me would be reduced by 0.6.

    All of my results were calculated as an individual living alone in my dorm room. My results seem rather high to me considering I live alone in my dorm room, use very little dishes, and hardly ever do laundry. The results do make sense though, considering my dorm does not use water saving toilets or faucets and everything I drink comes from a plastic bottle which, even though I recycle, still uses water to create.

    The Sydney Olympic Park was the host of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. It is significant because the park was built on what was once essentially a wasteland. Prior to use for the Olympics the area was home to a brick company as well as landfill which were very destructive to the area. In the 1980’s the land was developed into the State’s Sports Centre, and later into the Sydney Olympic Park. The impressive thing about the Olympic Park is that it is still in use today and continues to be environmentally friendly, unlike most Olympic Parks of the past.

    The Murray-Darling River Basin stretches from the Australian Alps to the Indian Ocean. The problem, however, is that the water no longer reaches the Indian Ocean, and in fact is dried up due to drought. The water that does flow has high salinity levels due to irrigation, which in turn poisoned the wetlands and has created large stretches of land that is unfit for cultivation. The effects of these issues have taken a toll on farmers and the Australian economy as a whole.

    Most of what I learned from this orientation will be very useful in creating my final project. I intend to study water reuse in Australia and compare it to that of the United States. The Sydney Olympic Park will be the main focus of my study because of the ways in which water was reused to support the park. Water is a major issue in Australia, however, and I will learn something helpful at every location we visit.

  7. My definition of sustainability is a societies ability to achieve its goals (economic, social) without disrupting and destroying the environment in which it lives. The recent boom of industrialization and the growing global warming crisis have brought more attention to the need to develop sustainable solutions and to maintain a sense of environmental responsibility.

    Water Footprint:
    According to H20 Conserve I use 1,080.84 gallons of water a day. After further investigation I was surprised to find that the primary source of my water footprint came from my consumption of meat. I had no idea that it takes so much water it takes to support what can be considered as the typical American diet.

    Carbon Footprint:
    According to the Global Footprint Network, if everyone had the same lifestyle as me it would take approximately 5.8 planet earths worth of natural resources to sustain them.
    Approximately 50% of my ecological footprint came from food, assumingly because as a college student that eats in the cafeteria, most of my food is not grown locally and a large amount of carbon is emitted into the atmosphere getting that food to me.

    I decided to calculate both my water and carbon footprints individually because as a college student who lives on campus I know little about the habits of my family back home. Though I am sure that my footprint calculations are rough estimates at best, I agree with them because I know that as an individual who lives an almost stereotypical American lifestyle in terms of consumption, that I am involuntarily contributing to a disproportionally large part of humanities global water and carbon footprints.

    The Australian governments efforts to restore Sydney Olympic Park set a good global example of stepping up to promote environmental awareness. I found it interesting that Australia won the bid to host the Olympics with the promise of making it the first “Green Olympic Games.” Through their efforts they constructed a widely successful water recycling system, restored degraded ecosystems, and continue to encourage renewable energy and environmental responsibility.

    The Murray Darling River Basin is the main source of water for Adelaide, but it also serves as a large symbol of national pride for the country. I thought that the National geographic article did a good job of showing the economic, social, environmental and cultural implications that the drought was having. It seems as though there have been a lot of bad decisions made that contributed to the drought such as encouraging agricultural development beyond sustainable levels.

    The current plan for my project is to show a global perspective of steps taken by various countries (highlighting the US and Australia) to reach economically viable and sustainable solutions. I can use what I have learned about water recycling, and continue to research the systems implemented in Australia to see where else in the world they could be effectively implemented. I could also discuss the average carbon and water footprints of individuals in developed and undeveloped countries, with a focus on how to effective reduce them.

  8. My definition of sustainability would be the ability to obtain a system that has the ability to learn from the past and improve current standards in order to meet the needs of the present, while continuing to innovate for the future.

    My calculated water footprint was 1,118.96 gallons per day and my household of 5 uses approximately 5,594.78 gallons per day. I definitely agree with this prediction because I think that living in the US we are treated as “royalty” compared to other countries and take water for granted. I have already decided to take faster showers and shut the water off when I’m brushing my teeth- but I still don’t think I can “let it mellow”… sorry! The part I wouldn’t agree with is that I live on a farm and watering our animals each morning and night is not accounted for. But as a household I feel it is very accurate.

    My carbon calculated estimate was that I need 7.8 worlds to provide enough resources for my family of 5. I do not agree with this because I live on a 100 acre farm and therefore we have land that would reduce the number of worlds needed. Part of the reason my number of Earth’s is so high is because we have 5 cars in my family and my dad is a district seed sales manager, so he travels the state (hundreds of miles in a week) to sell corn and soybeans.

    I think the Sydney Olympic Park is a fascinating creation. I had never given any thought to what happens with previously used Olympic cites and to discover that Sydney’s is currently being used 10 years later is awesome! Not to mention they took a run-down part of the continent and turned it into a eco-friendly and useful park.

    Reading about the Murray-Darling River Basin going dry made my heart sink. Especially coming from a farming background, I understand the “love for the land and animals” that others may not experience. It’s sad to look back and think that farming itself has partially caused the drought. Obviously they cannot change weather patterns, but plowing the soil only allows the sun to dry out the dirt even more, depleting the nutrients. Not to mention that sheep and cattle need hundreds of gallons of water to drink daily and even more for the grass to grow so they have food.

    I was planning to focus on urban agriculture and I could explain how the cities may be “over-using” their water rights and need to be more considerate of the food that is being grown for them in the rural parts of the country. I would also like to incorporate some of the sustainability tactics used in the Sydney Olympic Park into my recommendation for fixing some of the pressures Australia is facing in the urban agriculture area.

  9. Sustainability is the balance between minimizing negative impacts on the environment without compromising basic human needs. Minimizing negative effects on the environment helps to insure that the earth will be around for many generations to come. The goal of living sustainably is to make minor changes in our lifestyles that will have major positive impacts on the environment.

    My total household water use is 3,023.04 gallons per day and my individual water use is 1,007.68 gallons per day.

    My calculated carbon footprint was 14.42 metric tons of CO2 and it would take 6.2 earths to provide enough resources if everyone lived like me.

    I calculated both my water and carbon footprint using a family of three representing the number of people that currently live at my house. I think that my individual water footprint value from the H20conserve site is fairly accurate, but my total water use might be off because I can’t accurately judge how much water my parents use on a daily basis. I also used my three-person family for my carbon footprint because I didn’t know how to judge energy use from living in a dorm. This number is probably inaccurate because I took a shot in the dark for certain values such as coal, electricity, and gas. My family does laundry and dishes vary often, and my mom flies weekly and my dad drives a gas guzzling S.U.V. so there are many obvious ways that my family could reduce our carbon and water footprint.

    The Sydney Olympic Park hosted the 2000 Summer Olympic Games and is now a major attraction. The park was built on what was once a wasteland, and the fact that it went from a wasteland to the host of the Summer Olympics is what makes it so significant. Some green technologies and design strategies being used include solar energy, natural lighting, and various water recycling technologies. These technologies and strategies have allowed to park to thrive for ten years after the Summer Games and hopefully it will continue to thrive for a long time to come.

    The Murray Darling River Basin is the primary source of water for Adelaide, and used to stretch from the Australian Alps to the Indian Ocean. The water here has been used for agricultural reasons for a very long time and no longer reaches the Indian Ocean due to overuse of the water, climate change and drought. The water that does flow has high levels of salt, which makes it an unfit source for cultivating Adelaide’s crops. Farmers and other agricultural industries in Australia have suffered greatly due to these issues. Up and coming sustainable technologies will hopefully reverse the negative effects that this drought has had on the water supply and farmlands in this area.

    I can use knowledge gained from this orientation session on my project by looking at the ways that building are being made to be more efficient and have few negative impacts on the environment. For my project, I plan to investigate strategies of designing buildings with sustainable architecture practices. By looking at energy saving appliances, alternate power sources, and green technologies I will gain a better understanding of how sustainable architecture will help us in the future to decrease our carbon footprint .

  10. Sustainability is such a buzz word in the 21st century. Businesses, institutions, and governments are eager to use sustainability in goals, mission statements, or definitions. However what is sustainability? To me, sustainability is the responsible use of natural and manmade resources to ensure the health of the environment, humans, and the future generations of both. Humans are the only species on the planet that are capable of complex thinking and action that can change the course of our Earth. I believe therefore that it is mankind’s greatest responsibility to be sustainable, to ensure future generations of humans and animals alike, that there will be a healthy and viable world on which to live.

    My calculated water footprint is 1,111.15 gallons of water per day. I used H2O Conserve Calculator which averaged my family and divided it equally amongst us. I think the calculator overcompensated for food, especially meats, since I don’t think I eat as much as it was implying.

    My carbon footprint is 4.7 earths if everyone on the planet lived like me according to the Global Footprint Network calculator. The carbon footprint includes my own usages and some of my family’s especially in regards to the house. I agree with my carbon footprint because I can see how American’s in general live better than the average person on the planet.

    Sydney Olympic Park is a vast area reclaimed from hazardous industrial sites near the city of Sydney and transformed into the Olympic Park used for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. I learned that the park continues to be used by Australians every day of the year for programs and festivals. There is an abundance of green space and eco-friendly infrastructure. This site, and its history, shows the importance of preventative measures and what can happen to our land if we don’t take care of it. Its success story, from an industrial wasteland and dump to a burgeoning recreational area, is one that shows the prevailing willpower and ingenuity of mankind.

    The Murray – Darling River Basin is the life-line river for much of southeastern Australia. Similar to the Mississippi River in the U.S., it provides water to most of the eastern portions of Australia. I learned that the river is drying up drastically and that farmers are perhaps suffering the most. Many farmers have reduced production or just given up farming. One can easily see though that this precious water resource was overused and under managed.

    These two sites and this orientation are especially helpful for my course project. I will be detailing water usage, its scarcity, and dilemmas associated with low water areas, in particular relation to agriculture and agribusiness in Australia and the United States. The study of the Murray – Darling River basin is perhaps the most important site that we may visit in Australia in regards to my study topic. The effects of low water levels and droughts in the river basin have drastically affected all farmers. It has led many to quit, retire early, or even commit suicide. The issues of environmental sustainability in the Murray – Darling River Basin clearly spill over into the social and cultural sustainability Dr. Norman Christopher talked about in his sustainability lecture. The importance of water and its proper management seems to be very prevalent at both of these sites and throughout Australia. It is this management of water resources that I hope to learn more about.

  11. Sustainability:
    I have come to understand sustainability as a multifaceted set of policies and strategies that integrate environmental, social, cultural and economic needs through the public and private sectors. Put more simply, sustainability are a set of forward looking practices and ideologies that seek to protect the earths natural systems while allowing for economic, social, and cultural prosperity now and into the future.

    My total household water use is 4,598.58 gallons per day
    My individual water use is 1,149.64 gallons per day

    My household carbon footprint is13.03 metric tons of CO2

    I calculated my carbon and my water footprint for my family. Being at school it is difficult to know exactly how much I am paying for energy each year and to know how much water I am using. As my home is mostly under the control of my family it was easier to measure and figure out our average use of water and carbon. I think the averages I found for carbon use were fairly accurate if not slightly low. My family tries to be environmentally conscious, we grow vegetables in our garden and frequent farmers markets, but we also own 5 cars between four people, which is unnecessary and wasteful. As the calculators didn’t allow me to add all of the cars and some of the values were estimated, I think the results were close but slightly off. I think our water use calculations were more accurate as it was much easier to estimate the number of hours my family spent showering, brushing teeth, etc.

    The Sydney Olympic Park, the site of the 2000 summer Olympic games, is an excellent example of environmental sustainability. In building the park, developers sought sustainability on two levels. First, they worked hard on remediation of environmental harm by cleaning up an industrial waste “brown field” that was contaminated with various toxins. Second, the park employed sustainable practices concerning waste management, water conservation, renewable energy, and biodiversity protection. Aside from the sustainable practices highlighted by the Sydney Olympic Park, the difficulties in the Murray Darling River Basin point out both the importance and the difficulties of sustainability. The Murray Darling River Basin, once an agricultural center of Australia, has in recent years experienced a devastating drought that affects everyone from Adelaide farmers and fishermen to Aborigine whose cultural practices have been disrupted. The seven-year drought is largely a product of the western agricultural practices in the unstable environment of Southern Australia. The water issues in Adelaide and the surrounding communities are a call for the Australian people and government to get serious about sustainability practices employed in the Sydney Olympic Park.

    Application:
    In my final research project I want to explore local food movements in Australia, including urban agriculture. After reading about the water issues faced by Australian farmers, the importance of sustainable agricultural practices seem all that more important. While practicing more sustainable agriculture through local food movements seems important, how is it possible to implement urban agriculture practices with the water issues in Australia? I think water regulation issues will be very important to my research and the water recycling program practiced in the Sydney Olympic Park will be an important indicator of whether some local food practices are even practical in Australia.

  12. I have heard many definitions for the term sustainability, most dealing with how our society interacts with the natural world around us. For me, Norman Christopher of Grand Valley State, said it best when he described sustainability as a “lens” with which we view our world. This “lens of sustainability” helps us to begin to focus on how our actions influence the world culturally, environmentally, socially and economically. We have to begin to take responsibility for the fact that every action, purchase, or decision we make in today’s society affects at least one of these 4 tiers. We must now use our “lens of sustainability” to really look beyond our seemingly simple actions to realize their true repercussions.
    With the help of the online calculator tools, I found that my waterfootprint was 1020 cubic meters per year and the carbonfootprint me and my roommate are responsible for is approximately equivalent to 0.15 metric tons of carbon dioxide. For the waterfootprint I used my own individual values, but for the carbonfootprint I used both me and my roommates energy consumption to calculate our overall footprint. These values, especially the waterfootprint, were fairly difficult to calculate as I had trouble deciding how many kilograms worth of various types of food I consumed per week.
    We were exposed to a lot of very interesting information regarding Sydney Olympic Park, and the Murray-Darling River Basin. Sydney Olympic Park was one of the earliest examples of sustainable technologies being used to create a “Green” building at a site that was previously contaminated with various toxins. During the 2007 Sydney Olympic Games, this building helped to show the world how a building, even at this scale, could use various techniques to reduce energy consumption and limit their carbonfootprint. The Murray-Darling River is a great example of environmental problems influencing various factors of society. The river, which in the past has supplied Adelaide with most of its fresh water, is now drying up and no longer runs all the way to the ocean. This poses a serious problem for the citizens of Adelaide, who are now being forced to rethink their water consumption strategies and develop new ways to bring freshwater to the region. Both the environmental issues stemming from the Murray-Darling River, and the technologies that were implemented at the Sydney Olympic Park are directly related to my individual project. I will use information gathered from both sites to influence my work in Australia, and tie what I have learned about both into my overall project regarding environmental sustainability.

  13. I would define sustainability as any practice or procedure that looks at a long-term setting and incorporates that into how certain resources or issues will be handled now. It maintains that fact that wise use of the resource now will insure that it will be long-lasting and available in the future. Good management practices, looking to the future and anything to increase the longevity of something can help toward reaching the sustainable potential of the issue/resource at hand.

    I used the second water footprint calculator, and it said I used 1,135.25 gallons of water a day.

    I used the first carbon footprint calculator, and it said I needed 5.2 planet earths to provide enough energy resources.

    For both of these calculations I used my individual usage as opposed to myself and my family. I did this because it would have been more accurate since I do not live with my family, and I would have to guess for a lot of the questions as they pertained to them.

    Sydney Olympic Park had developed and implemented a number of energy and water saving devices, as well as biodiversity and preservation technologies. They have come up with a dual water supply system to better manage their water. The systems that they have implemented have allowed the Sydney Olympic Park to prosper even in the shadow of the 2000 Olympic Games, with 25% of its energy being powered by green energy.

    The Murray-Darling River Basin is at the opposite end from the Sydney Olympic Park, illustrating how Australia is struggling with the water scarcity and droughts that are overcoming the country. The system provides the majority of the water used in the agricultural industry for Australia. Farmers have been forced use less water, causing heavy crop losses due to the water supply drying up. Actions of the farmers such as plowing in the basin have caused increased erosion which has adverse effects on the water quality as well. More sustainable practices must be followed, as with the Sydney Olympic Park if the Murray-Darling River Basin is to be salvaged.

    I plan on doing my final project on how Australia is dealing with its growing water scarcity problems, and how they are dealing with the issues, so looking at both the Sydney Olympic Park and the Murray-Darling River Basin issues goes right in with what I would want to talk about. I would like to focus on more large-scale uses of water like agricultural and industrial uses, so seeing how they have deals with the water problems will help me better understand what I am looking for.

  14. Sustainability is the ability for an environment to be upheld or maintained over time. My calculated water footprint for me as an individual was 1,215 gallons per day. A few of the things that made it higher were things such as not having any low flow, water saving appliances such as shower heads, facets, toilets and washing machines. Another thing that made it higher was the fact that I eat meat, which indirectly increases your water use by quite a lot. My calculated carbon footprint was 3 to 7 planet earths, services took up 53%, good 11%, shelter 8%, mobility 13%, and food 15%.

    At Sydney Olympic Park controlled and uncontrolled waste dumping polluted the bay. By 1970 the bay no longer existed. Remediation occurred from March 1992 to February 2001. The goal of remediation was to block the spread of contamination and restore waterways for the people of New South Wales. Solutions to manage waste and restore the site were defined by: the different types of waste, the variety of end uses needed and the “green” policy. They also did biodegradation of petroleum contaminants and thermal desorption plus catalytic conversion.11 engineered waste mounds now exist at the park all containing systems to catch and control the ground water flowing though the landfill. Open space is now available to the public and no longer endangers the health of the people or the environment. It is now used for educational, recreational and cultural purposes.

    The Murray-Darling River has run dry due to drought. The Murray and Darling are the main water sources for south Australia’s capital Adelaide and provides 65% water for the countries agriculture. Basically the water is bring over drawn. The drought has had a large affect on farmers as well as other businesses. A dairy farmer Adlington, has not been able to use the water he needs for his farm for the last three years and wont be able to until the drought is over. Global warming is thought to have increased the drought. Increased temperature causes and increase in water evaporation.

    What I have learned about Sydney Olympic Park and the Murray-Darling River can help with my project because It is important to look into more sustainable ways of farming. Also I can look to see if there is a difference between organic and conventional farming in terms of water conservation and waste production as well.

  15. Sustainability in my eyes is preservation, whether it is in environment or culture, and as the world moves forward maintaining preservation becomes harder and harder, therefore sustainability is getting more and more important. Every generation enters the world into a different environment and every generation needs to do their best to ensure environment meets the future generations needs.

    Sydney Olympic Park and the Murray Darling River Basin are very much polar opposites in Australia. The Murray Darling has been in a drought for the past seven years; it is no longer even maintaining flow to the sea, if Australia ever wants the River Basin back they will need to find as many ways possible to change how they are using water in the rest of Australia. Sydney Olympic Park is currently flourishing in water savings. The Park has the first large scale urban water recycling system which manages to save 850 liters of drinking water a year.

    I am writing my final paper on the desalination plants in Australia and how much water they are providing to Australia. I learned a lot about water sustainability’s importance in Australia from the good that is happening in Sydney to the bad that is going on in the Murray Darling River Basin orientation and how important these desalination plants truly are.

    I calculated my water footprint as an individual since I live in the dorms. My individual water footprint is 1098 cubic meters per year

    I calculated my carbon footprint within my entire family and it came out to 10.15 metric tons of CO2. I chose to do my carbon footprint as a family just because of the questions there were, otherwise I wouldn’t have had anything for most categories or known how to calculate them because of the dorms.

  16. Sustainability is an overall balance, a balance between human and nature. In terms of resources, we as humans should be in balance with the earth cycles. So when we take oil from the ground and burn it we should keep the carbon cycle balanced by removing the extra carbon from the atmosphere and returning it to the ground. Another example is if we cut down trees for a resource we should be planting trees to replace the one we just cut down. In this way, we are in balance with nature, not taking so much that the future generations in years to come will have resources to live off.

    My total water footprint is 920 cubic meter per year. This calculation is just as an individual. For most of my footprint comes from food. This is mainly because I live in the dorm hall I do not have any outdoor activities that use water. I am also water conservative since I do my laundry or run the dish washer less often as compared to my family. The biggest part of my footprint is meat. Even though I can how this can be very large, it seems it all depends on where you get your meat. Maybe in some areas the water need to raise the cattle is less compared to other areas. Overall I feel this number is good representative of my actual water footprint.

    My total carbon footprint is it would take 4.4 Earths to support my lifestyle for the entire global. I would say this calculation is not a good as the water, mainly because of the fact that I’m a student. I live the dorms, so I really can say how much I pay for gas and electricity, nor do I know where that comes from. I do not have the power to update the appliances in my building. As for the type of building I live in, the best I could chose was apartment. Also, as for transportation, on a daily basis, I usually take the bus everywhere, and I rarely driving my car. However, when I drive home for the weekend, like once a month, it is a good 90 minute drive. My life style is so filled with variables that it’s really hard to be sure what my exact carbon footprint is.

    Sydney Olympic Park the location of the 2000 summer Olympics. This is a significant part of the sustainability of Australia. With the entire global watching Sydney, by making the Olympic park a green environment, Sydney is able to show the world a way to be sustainable. Not only making the park sustainable for the games but for years to come. Even for 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, they were coming up with ways to make the area park a green environment. Sydney can be viewed by other nations as an example of how to make a sustainable green environmentally friendly Olympic park.

    The Murray-Darling River Basin is a very important life line for Australia, both for agriculture and for urban development. If there is no sustainable plan set up to help protect the basin for years to come, Australia will be unable to sustain a diverse and vibrant life there. The river basin is significant location to Australia because of this life line, and if Australia can change it’s practices to be more sustainable, then the future generations can also enjoy the wonders of Australia.

    From this orientation I can apply to project by thinking about how to make Australia more sustainable in terms of their water resources, in more specific for the Murray-Darling River Basin.

  17. Sustainability is the ability to endure in environmental, social, cultural, and economic aspects. My water foot print was 586 cubic meters per year individually and my total household water use in my family’s house is 21, 335.24. My individual water use was 5,338.81. After calculating my carbon foot print, it said I would need 30 global acres of land and 6.7 earths to support my lifestyle. I calculated as an individual and family for water foot print and family for carbon foot print. I agree with the calculated values after realizing how much I actually do use. It was surprising at first but it made sense in the end. Sydney Olympic Park and Murray-Darling River Basin are significant because authorities in both areas are continually trying to improve the sustainability. I learned that authorities set high standards of environmental performance for Sydney Olympic Park and I learned that the Murray-Darling River Basin will soon be all dried up and people will soon feel the effects. I can apply different methods of dealing with sustainability and conserving energy to my project.

  18. I define sustainability as a particular way of life in which all levels of society work together to successfully meet their current needs without disregarding thoughts of the future. A sustainable society thinks, works and acts with future generations in mind in all areas of life, ranging from environmental issues to cultural and social aspects.

    My calculated water footprint for individual usage is 1,088.23 gallons per day. My total household water usage is 5.441.17 gallons per day. I used the second calculator because it was easier for me to answer general questions about my family’s lifestyle than to provide exact values about my own lifestyle for the first calculator. I was surprised to find out that my carbon footprint was less than the average American’s footprint. I always shower twice a day, wash my hands often, and drink several bottles of water each day. I would like to find out what aspects of my lifestyle makes my water footprint less than the average.

    According to the first carbon-footprint calculator, it takes 19.2 global acres of the Earth’s productive area to support my lifestyle. If everyone lived like me, we would need 4.3 Planet Earth’s to provide enough resources. I find it interesting that most of my carbon footprint comes from the services I utilize on a daily basis. Almost 50% of my carbon footprint comes from services, as compared to only 12% from mobility. This seems correct since I tend to either walk, bike, or occasionally take the public bus system as opposed to driving on campus.

    The Sydney Olympic Park is known for its well-developed sense of environmental sustainability. The Park has implemented a set of “Environmental Guidelines,” which was the catalyst that successfully transformed the land into an “environmental showpiece.” The guidelines address the most crucial of environmental aspects, ranging from preventing pollution and conserving habitat and species, to preserving unique features and heritage.

    The Murray-Darling River has been the primary water source for many Australian farmers for decades. Like the Mississippi River in America, the Murray -Darling provided water to most of the South-Eastern part of Australia. However, the current drought conditions have taken its toll on the entire river basin, and all of those who depended on it to maintain their way of life. Farmers in all arenas (rice, cattle, sheep) have endured drastic lifestyle changes as a result of the lack of water supply. The water has been rationed down to amounts that are unacceptable to farmers who need large amounts of water in order to maintain a healthy business.

    I found this orientation session particularly helpful in thinking about my project. The articles about the Sydney Olympic Park’s methods of water filtration and storage were especially helpful. I enjoyed the article on how the park takes a holistic approach in the management of their water systems, from drinking water to sewage and recycled water. I would like to learn more about the Olympic Park’s water management system and how this impacts human health and environment in the surrounding areas.

  19. Sustainability is like surviving and using natural resources that you have around you to survive. Using our natural resources to sustain our well being on earth but also be aware of what is limited and tolerable to the rest of the world.
    My total calculated water foot print is 1008, mostly based on meat products that I eat. For my calculated carbon foot print I got 4.6 globes. I also received 20.4 global acres of the earth productivity areas, which is mostly based on land for energy. I calculated me as an individual to see what sort of foot print I have. I somewhat agree with my footprints because everything varies to the things I do. I can say it is pretty accurate but embarrassing in way because you don’t pay attention to the little thing such as brushing or washing your hands can make a big difference. Depending on the person we all have different habits that require using a lot of water which is really interesting.
    Sydney Olympic Park and Murray-Darling Basin River are much alike in many ways. They are both areas in which have been changing dramatically because of natural and unnatural reasons. Sydney Olympic Park is working on sustainability by remediation programs that are to rejuvenate and conserve areas that have been affected by illegal dumping. Murray-Darling Basin River is crucial for so many people especially the farmers who have been struggling with the drought. This means that a lot because they need water for cattle, wet lands and to harvest crops. These two areas will be great because it has a lot to with are class on sustainability. This relates to my project in way that affects the food market in that certain area. Since I am writing about Food industry this will be a great way to see how people have reacted to the change of water restrictions. Since farmers are beginning to go bankrupt because they cannot afford paying for the water or don’t get enough can cut down on local ally grown vegetables which can affect the food market as a whole.

  20. I believe that sustainability means living your life in a way that will leave the environment suitable for future generations to live their life in the same manner. My calculated water footprint is 543 cubic meters of water per year. My carbon footprint is about 11.86 metric tons of CO2 per year. Those calculations were done as an individual calculation, rather than a family or household. I agree with the calculations. I think it’s a fair insight to how much you really are affecting the environment and in what areas you can improve. I’ve learned that the Sydney Olympic Park is important for Australia, and for the world, as a public area that holds world recognition for sustainable technology. The Murray-Darling River Basin is important for providing water to the city of Adelaide, as well as many farms around the area. With the basin drying up, it has been devastating for many farmers, as they cannot live the life they once did. It’s effecting their mental health as well, as it is not easy to see your whole career and the way you live your life go down the drain. I’d like to apply more water conservation tips to my life. Every little drop counts in a world that is slowly turning into a desert.

  21. I believe that sustainability is living within our means so that future generations will not run out of resources. It is also protecting and restoring the resources we have available to us right now. My calculated water footprint was 1,040.22 gallons per day. This is mostly due to showering and washing the dishes. My carbon footprint was 4.2 Earths. Services accounted for 47% of that. I calculated my carbon and water footprint for the entire apartment rather than as an individual. My water values are probably fairly accurate because we use approximately the same amounts of water. My carbon footprint is probably not as accurate, because while 3 people in our apartment have cars, I am the only one who doesn’t have a car. Therefore, if I had done my carbon footprint as an individual, it would probably be lower. Sydney Olympic Park was where they held the 2000 Olympic Games. It is a significant part of sustainability in Australia. They changed what used to be basically a waste land into a place that is environmentally green. The place is no longer contaminated with toxins and is instead enjoyed as an eco-friendly park. The Murray-Darling River Basin has been experiencing a drought for the past seven years and all the water is drying up. Australia is over-using its resources and many farmers are suffering. There is not enough water to grow crops and to water their animals. Hopefully Australia can come up with some way to reverse the negative side effects the drought and their poor maintenance of the River basin have had on the agriculture there. For my project, I am looking at the differences in portion sizes between America and Australia and how that is affecting each country. One way I could relate this is based on how Australia seems to be under-managing their resources. This could potentially play a role in the amount of food available in each country. For example, if there is less food in Australia, the food would become more expensive. Since restaurants and grocery stores would not want to increase their prices, they may just reduce their portion sizes instead.


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