Posted by: revtc | September 17, 2009

Exilio Eco-Challenge

As part of our reading of Exilio, we are expected to take a few of the challenges Frost sets out in each section of the book. In Part 3 of the book, there’s a section on how we could live differentlyto the host culture. A good part of our host culture is based upon consumerism – indeed, we are most often referred to in the media as ‘consumers’. I hate that term! I am not primarily a consumer; I am a citizen. And if I want to buy something, then I am a ‘customer’ who will choose to purchase a product, or not. There is absolutely no a priori compulsion for me to comsume what someone else has produced (I’m ranting…)

Anyhoo, the challenge I’ve just completed is to measure my ecological fooprint. That’s part 2 of the challenge, as the first part was to watch the movie, An Incovenient Truth. I’ve already watched that about 18 months ago, so did the online ecological footprint test here. My result is this, which means that to sustain my ecological footprint, there would need to be 1.75 earths. That surprised me, as I know that I live very frugally, and the result table shows that when compared with the rest of the UK averages, I am frugal, especially with the things I can make real choices about. The carbon footprint could be reduced I guess, and I think it comes from driving about 10,000 kms per year. But most of that mileage is done on long distance, so fuel is being used as efficiently as possible. And the housing footprint is mostly beyond my control, as a good deal of it is related to how the house was built.Earth2

So, perhaps I’m more a creature of my culture than I would like to be – in fact, I know I am. But I take some comfort from Bono’s words when he said, “We can’t do everything, but the things we can, we must.” I know that I make conscious choices to do the things I can. What about you?



  1. I did the same test and i think mine was something like 2.13 earths. I was shocked! Like you I thought I was doing well.

    If we ever lived in the same street, maybe we could all club together to invest in our own solar panels and mini wind turbines to power the whole street!

    Have put a couple of posts on my blog – take a look when you get a minute!

  2. I think most people would be surprised by the ‘Earths’ they are using up. When our family did the test we were certainly using more than we’d hoped for. Trouble is, some of the choices are beyond us financially or otherwise. The challenge is to do what we can I guess.

    Your community effort sounds ideal – we’re up for it if you are 😉

    I’ve seen your latest posts [like buses, waited for one for ages & then 2 arrived at the same time!] Good as ever…

  3. […] of our engagement with Mike Frost’s Exilio course last year, some of us undertook an online ecological footprint test. It was quite a sobering experience. Even those of us who considered our lifestyle choices to be […]

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