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Let’s end violence against women and girls

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, more and more women are coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Women and young girls are finding that powerful voice within them to speak out against sexual violence and crimes against women in general.

On Nov. 25, the United Nations will lead the annual worldwide campaign marking the start of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  This will be a 16-day campaign with hundreds of events worldwide.

One in three women are affected by violence. According to the UN, 19 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have said they experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last year. In 2012, almost half of all women who were murdered, were killed by an intimate partner or family member. The same can be said of only 6 per cent of male victims.

The theme for the campaign is Leave No one Behind, emphasizing the urgency of addressing these issues and not allowing them to be normalized. The campaign will educate the public on the types of violence women face and mobilize change.

During these 16 days, iconic buildings worldwide will be lit up in orange, the colour officially associated with the day. Orange symbolizes a brighter future without violence. Local events that could spring up in your city include marches, flash-mobs, concerts, football and rugby games, as well as other unique and creative public events to bring awareness to the issue. The hope is that this movement will mobilize governments and the public to take part in the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s umbrella campaign to end violence against women by 2030.

“Violence against women is fundamentally about power,” Guterres said in a statement. “It will only end when gender equality and the full empowerment of women will be a reality.”

The rise of the #MeToo campaign on social media has awoken a global protest against sexual harassment and assault. Through this hashtag, women are sharing their stories of violence afflicted towards them from even politicians and celebrities. These women are acting as examples for others, finally bringing some of their attackers to justice. UN Women is now working towards implementation new laws and policies that will offer women and young girls further protection.

The specific theme this year is also directed at refugees and migrants who are at a higher risk of being targeted for abuse. This recognition covers all women and girls despite their age, race, religion, income or citizenship. Women and girls need to be protected and offenders should be prosecuted to ensure that there is a societal message of  a zero-tolerance policy  towards violence of any kind.

For over 20 years, UN Women has been supporting various organizations around the world that have proactively taken steps in reducing community violence directed towards women. Earlier this year there was a collaborative effort with the European Union on a special spotlight initiative focusing on domestic, family , sexual, violence, human trafficking and labor exploitation. This included an initial investment of $500 million (EUR) by the EU.

To show your support during the 16 day campaign, use the hashtag, #orangetheworld and #16days. You can also change your profile picture by adding an orange filter.

5 holiday desserts from around the world

What’s the best part of travelling? For me, it’s about the local culture, including the unique foods. This holiday season, you don’t need a passport to experience any of these international cultural traditions. North American holidays are known for turkey, stuffing and an assortment of sweet and sticky pies, but what are some other holiday desserts you can find around the globe?

Women’s Post showcases five unique and decadent international desserts from different cultures that are bound to impress guests at your next holiday party:

Phillipines- Pinoy Fruit Salad

Filipino food is amazing! While known for their glazed Christmas ham or desserts like halo-halo, during the Christmas season one of the most popular sweet treats is fruit salad. Yep, fruit salad, but this isn’t any random fruit salad. Normally, Filipino fruit salad, sometimes called Pinoy fruit salad, takes one can of fruit cocktail mixed with heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. You can also find versions with coconut meat, coconut milk, jello, tapioca pearls or added pineapple. Talk about easy, creamy and delicious.

France -Buche de Noel

This dessert might look familiar to some North American homes. Buche de Noel or Yule Log is a traditional sweet treat found in France and French-influenced countries during the Christmas holidays. It is made using a classic sponge cake coated in chocolate buttercream and rolled in chocolate shavings to resemble an actual log.

England- Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding, Christmas pudding ! What’s Christmas without some traditional Christmas pudding, especially if you’re from the U.K. Also known as plum pudding, this dessert is usually served after Christmas dinner and is made using a mixture of dried fruit,spices, molasses. There are no plums in the actual pudding, but lots of raisins. The pudding is often steamed for approximately three hours. Many people often soak the fruits before hand in Brandy  and once the pudding is done it is splashed with more alcohol. This helps to preserve the pudding for almost up to one year,

Guyana- Black Cake

Similar in look to the christmas pudding, this cake is made using minced dried fruits that have been soaked in cherry brandy or rum The fruits are mixed with flour, eggs and sugar, spices and molasses or browning. Once baked, the cakes are generously soaked in rum. This Christmas treat can be found in many Caribbean islands including Jamaica and Trinidad. Black Cake or Caribbean fruit cake are also popular at weddings and is said to bring prosperity and luck.

Australia- Pavlova

Even though it’s technically summer in Australia during the Christmas holidays, this doesn’t mean that Australians can’t indulge in a refreshing Christmas- summer dessert treat. This popular meringue- like dessert is named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova after she toured New Zealand and Australia in the 1920’s. Pavlova is made using egg whites, sugar, and cream, but it has a firm and crunchy exterior and a delicate inside. This dessert is usually served on Christmas day.

What are your favourite global holiday desserts? Comment and indulge!

Canada missing data for inclusion in ONE analysis on girls education

For the last five years, Oct. 11 has marked International Day of the Girl, where people are encouraged to reflect on the importance of education and human rights, especially when it comes to the empowerment of young girls. This mission, led by the United Nations, aims to bring global attention and action to girls that are in crisis around the world, including access to safety, education, and a healthy life. This year, the theme will be to help girls before, during, and after a crisis.

In honour of International Day of the Girl, ONE campaign released their second annual report on the ‘toughest places in the world for a girl to get an education.’ ONE is an organization that spans worldwide and is focused on issues like justice and equality, especially in African Nations. The report is based on a data taken from the 193 countries in the United Nations. Education is one of the most important factor affecting the prosperous growth of women. Eleven factors were taken into consideration.

However, out of 193 member countries, only 122 countries had enough data to be included in the report.  The top 10 worst countries for girls to get an education are mostly located in sub-saharan Africa and the order is as follows: South Sudan, Central African Republic, Niger, Afghanistan, Chad, Mali, Guinea, Burkino Faso, Liberia and Ethiopia.

Canada, France, and Germany were included in the list of 71 countries that did not meet the mark for proper data analysis. Canada only met four data points:

  • Girls’ upper-secondary out-of-school rate
  • Girls’ lower-secondary out-of-school rate
  • Girls’ upper-secondary completion rate
  • Girls’ government expenditure on education (as a per cent of total government expenditure)

All the data was collected from the UNESCO database. Some of the factors Canada was missing include girls’ youth literacy rate, mean years of school, primary teachers trained to teach, lower-secondary out-of-school rate and primary out-of-school rate. Canada is positioned as a country that supports girls education and development. However, there is lots of data missing to gather a full understanding of where girls stand in these developed countries. Canada is all about promoting feminism, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leading the way as a self–proclaimed feminist. Canada also featured two cities, Toronto and Vancouver, on the top ten cities for female entrepreneurs, but the data collected by ONE shows a lot of information missing about our own educational system.

ONE’s report hopes to highlight key issues that need improvement in order for girls to thrive. Their report indicated that the toughest places for girls to get access to proper education are amongst the poorest in the world, and are often marked as fragile states. Girls can face social, economic, and cultural barriers all when trying to access and stay in school. However, the report can conclude that just because a country is poor doesn’t mean that girls cannot get access to proper education . For instance, Burundi has the worlds lowest income, but ranks better than 18 other wealthier countries in terms of girls education. While all the countries on the ‘tough list’ deal with different issues, ranging from childhood marriage to poor literacy, the key issues are transparency and funding.

President and CEO of the ONE campaign, Gayle Smith said that “over 130 million girls are still out of school— that is over 130 million potential engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on. It’s a global crisis that perpetuates poverty.”

In February 2018, Smith hopes there will be a Global Partnership for Education that supports education in developing countries. Various world leaders will be invited to fund this development and make a commitment to this cause.

Prime Minister Trudeau is, however, expected to make a few appearance in Washington D.C on Oct. 10 where he will attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Gala as well as participate in the Women One Roundtable discussion on Oct 11. It is hopeful that in the near future, more developed countries can make all issues of girls’ education more transparent because empowered girls make for powerful women.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

National Film Board launches artist Karine Lanoie-Brien Expo 67 Live

Always dreamt of reliving Expo 67? Until Sept. 30, as part of Montreal’s 375th celebrations, you can do just that! Step in to a unique film experience, with five-storey colourful images and spatial audio that will be projected on to four walls surrounding the Place des Arts. This is an innovative story telling at its best and created with more than thousand clips of archives.

Who is the mastermind behind it?

Meet Karine Lanoie-Brien, Montreal resident, the creator, writer and director of Expo 67 Live, an innovative film experience that recreates what the atmosphere would have been like at the 1967 Montreal World’s fair. Expo 67 is widely known as one of the most successful world fair of the 20th century. The theme — man and his world — was showcased through 90 different pavilions representing various countries around the world.

Lanoie-Brien began her career in 1997 as an animator and researcher in television. “I am excited about the launch and I want people to feel a physical or emotional experience from it,” she said.

This free event from September 18 to the 30th and will showcase four 27-minute screenings nightly.

I asked the humble artist if there is anything people should know about the screening prior to showing up. Her suggestion? Wear comfortable shoes!

The stage is set and the curtain is about to be opened in reliving Expo 67. There are still a few days left to see it.  It is a piece of history, a journey in time of the greatest moments of Expo 67 which the Lanoie-Brien notes actually all began in the 1960’s.

Will you venture out for this once in a lifetime experience? Let us know in the comments below!

www.runwithit.ca

Run With It Channel

Canada ranks number one for civil service gender equality

By Leanne Benn

The Global Government Forum, an organization that measures standards for gender- equality worldwide, ranks Canada as number one out of any G20 country. This ranking places Canada at the top of the civil service sector for having women in leadership positions.

According to the Women Leaders Index, released in September 2017, 46.4 per cent of senior civil servants in Canada are women. There is a 3.3 percentage point difference between Canada and Australia and the gap has been slowly closing over the past few years.

The data was gathered over three years from 2013 to 2016 and measured gender equality in leadership roles in G20 and EU countries. The goal of this forum is to highlight the countries that are leading the way for gender equal roles in federal or national governments, therefore encouraging other countries to do the same.

This is the first year the data has included research from countries outside the G20 with the inclusion of European Union countries. The data collected from the EU shows that these countries are more advanced in terms of gender equality than those included in the G20. Among 28 EU nations the average is 40 per cent high-ranking women.

This data analysis covers a broader base and as a result new fields of analysis were included this year. In addition to civil service leadership and women elected into political office, the forum examined women on private sector boards. It should be noted that in these sub-sector datas collections, Canada ranked low for women in private sector boards.

The discussion of gender inequality for high ranking positions has been long analyzed and female talent should be promoted within government structures. Canada’s most senior civil servant as of January 2016 was Janice Charette. Charette, in response to the index, said public service should represent the population in order to show they are doing the best job possible. The polices and the practices of high ranking countries can have an internal impact on HR management, staff development, recruitment, and the promotion of women.

“If you look at all the research on this, the value proposition for gender equality and diversity in leadership positions, whether in the public sector or the private sector, is very clear,” she said in the report. “And I would say that in the public sector it’s even more important, because if we are to have credible public service structures and institutions that are able to give good, thoughtful, strategic advice to governments, they have to understand and represent the population they are there to serve. That’s absolutely critical.”

However, there must be a political appetite in order to change the public leadership roles for women. For instance, both Canada and France have a cabinet that includes 50 per cent women. A strong political role is required for gender diversity and this is the only way conditions may improve.

How do you feel about Canada’s ranking and what are your thought on gender equality on a global level?

Toronto top 10 city for female entrepreneurs

Toronto has been listed as one of the top 10 cities for women entrepreneurs!

The Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit released days on the h2017 Women Entrepreneur cities earlier this week, ranking 50 cities around the world based on how they support female entrepreneurs. This is the eight year Dell has hosted such a summit.

Toronto is listed as number nine on the top 10 cities list, with Vancouver making it on the list for the first time at number 26 in the rankings.

Dell teamed up with IHS Markit, an analytics firm that helped the company gather data on various cities, to see which cities qualified to be listed. One key factor of determination was based on a city’s ability to attract as well as support women entrepreneurs. Their research does not include data from previous years — each study is conducted fresh each time and the company also changes and adds factors.

Karen Quinto, the executive VP and chief customer officer at Dell, remarked the number of women entrepreneurs is growing globally at a rate of more than 10 per cent each year. “Women are likely or more likely than men to start businesses in many markets,” he said. “However, financial, cultural, and political barriers can limit the success of these businesses.”

Factors of determination were based on city characteristics such as capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets. Other factors include local policy, national laws, and customs. There were categories that were broken down even more, for instance culture was determined based on areas things like role models, mentors , networks and attitudes towards women entrepreneurs. In this instance, Toronto ranked third and Vancouver ranked 17th.

Vancouver has made the list thanks to their paid maternity leave for women which is a plus to their businesses. It is also easy to start a business there as the city ranks 26th in terms of access to capital.

Dell continues to be committed to empowering women in business especially in the sue of technology. The company believes that this venture can lead to an increase in global economic growth and development. Dell believes that women especially understand the connection that is necessary with your customers in business.

Twenty-five cities was added to the list for 2017. Here are the top 10 in the list:

1. New York

2. San Francisco

3. London

4. Boston

5. Stockholm

6. Los Angeles

7. Washington, D.C.

8. Singapore

9. Toronto

10. Seattle

For the full list of countries, check out this link to get the full executive summary index.

Baby boomers and millenials need to prepare for senior crisis

Baby boomers and millennials are often at odds with one another due to differing values and desires. Baby Boomers are often blamed for the state of the economy and environmental degradation today, and millennials are seen as flippant and spoiled. Both parties enjoy pointing fingers, but the reality is these are the grandparents, parents, and children of society, and everyone must learn to work together.

In coming years, retiring baby boomers will be the largest age group in the twenty-first century to reach old-age and millennials, as a much smaller generation, will be in charge of providing for these seniors. To avoid being crushed economically on a global level, millennials and baby boomers need to put their differences aside and figure out how to support this fundamental change in society. The world is rapidly aging, with the number of people aged 60 or up growing from 11 per cent in 2006 to 22 per cent by 2050, according to the guide on building age-friendly cities by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is a massive population shift and society needs to prepare essential senior’s services in cities all over the world.

In celebration of senior’s month in Ontario, throughout the month of June there will be a lot of focus on providing services for seniors. The City of Toronto is dedicating programming to the safety of older adults with Toronto Fire Services, which includes door-to-door visits to Toronto Community Housing senior’s buildings and fire prevention services will conduct visits to provide safety tips to avoid home fires. Ontario is also supporting 460 new projects through the Senior’s Community Grant program to help seniors stay involved and active in their communities. This includes providing seniors with projects and initiatives in the non-profit sector to stay involved and engaged. Though these projects are positive for seniors, housing and transportation should be the central focus for senior’s month in Toronto.

In order to create an age-friendly city, builders must create stronger transportation. There is a global shortage of affordable housing that focuses on seniors and building infrastructure with old-age-motivated features will help avoid a housing crisis in the next 10 years. Public transportation benefits everyone and is a necessity for seniors because many can’t drive after a certain point. Buses and subways give unlimited access to essential city services such as medical and recreational services and should be a priority to build an age-friendly urban center.

When planning for seniors, providing accessibility in every part of the cityscape is also considerably important. According to the Age-friendly Checklist by Alberta Health, every aspect of a senior’s daily transportation must be easily accessible. Sidewalks need to be even for seniors with mobility issues and provided on all roadways. Public transportation must have elevators and easy access to buses and subways. Public buildings must be accommodated with handicap washrooms and ramps if there are stairs. In colder climates such as Canada, preparing for icy conditions and cold weather is also relevant for seniors.

With the better part of the baby boomer generation retiring in the next 10 years, it is imperative to start orienting infrastructure towards ensuring this large population of seniors will be taken care of. The frivolous arguments between millennials and baby boomers are ridiculous and must be abandoned. Instead, everyone must work together to ensure that seniors will have homes and transportation, and millennials won’t be crushed by the debt of an impending housing or public transit crisis.

For senior’s month, opening a discussion as to how to deal with the larger problems of creating an age-friendly city is ultimately the way to creating a stronger and more resilient city for generations to come.

Women of the Week: Amy Terrill

The heart of a city is music. It’s the illustrious sounds of a trumpet spilling out a bar through an open door or the busker who plays electric guitar on a street corner.

Executive Vice President of Music Canada, Amy Terrill, deeply believes in the benefits of music and it is her job to lead several programs that help music thrive at a municipal, provincial and federal level. She is focused on pushing forward projects that support musicians and artists, spread awareness regarding copyright laws, and help facilitate the relationship between music and government relations. “Communications and government relations are my two areas of expertise,” Terrill says. And she is definitely the woman for the job.

At the moment, Music Canada is working on making Toronto a ‘music city’. “We compared Toronto to Austin, because there is a lot of amazing music activity there and Toronto is certainly the music hub of English Canadian music,” Terrill says. “It is where the labels are and thousands of artists. Many of our agents and managers and a big nexus for music in Canada.”

Terrill didn’t begin her career in music. “It is funny because when I was in high school, I actually intended to go into music and was dissuaded. I took a different route, and ended up in music after all,” Terrill says. From Lindsay, Ont. originally, Terrill completed her political science degree at Queen’s University and worked for eight and a half years in the media, primarily in television.

“I worked in news reporting, and produced and anchored as well in Peterborough. I was able to move up the ranks and then I moved into the chamber of commerce in Lindsay and later to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce,” Terrill says. She also received the Burnie Gillespie Memorial Award for excellence in Chamber leadership and was previously the Director of the Unison Benevolent Fund that provides emergency relief and counselling services in Canada.

“I came to know my current boss, Graham Henderson, through the [Ontario Chamber of Commerce]. He is a very supportive and influential figure. He was on the board of the Ontario Chamber and now he is the chair. He offered me an opportunity to come and work with him,” Terrill says. “He saw an opportunity for Music Canada to broaden our look. Before we had been focused on federal issues, but Graham wanted to see what else was happening and how we could play a bigger role.”

Amy Terrill is the host and curator for the Music Cities summit at Canadian Music Week. This portion of the conference was focused on current issues that cities are facing within the music sector.  The summit was based on ‘Mastering of the Music City’, which is a global report written by Music Canada that compares the music scene in 25 different cities. The framework is now being used across the world.

When Terrill isn’t working she enjoys canoeing and kayaking. “I have an annual white water canoeing trip I do with a bunch of women I know,” Terrill says. “We go on a different river every year in Ontario.” She also enjoys cross-country skiing and yoga, and being with her two kids.

Terrill also believes that helping women, young and old, is essential to success. “I have so many interesting colleagues and supporters, sometimes it is just about honouring and respecting them and being there for them in return,” Terrill says. “I try and be a good role model to people within my network. We have quite a few younger people who work with us as well. I have always had younger women working with me. It is important to provide a strong role model.”

Terrill has led a successful career in music and proves that it is possible to support music and make effective change in the Canadian art scene. “Music is what makes a city so vibrant. We all have a responsibility to remind people of that. There is often an opposition with noise complaints,” Terrill says. “If you care about music in the community, speak up and tell your councillors how important it is to you.”

 

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What happens on Halloween around the world?

Around the world Halloween is celebrated in various ways with one common thread; it is the day that honours the dead. These traditions either focus on protecting oneself from the spirits of the dead, respecting and remembering dead relatives, or trying to provide comfort to the spirits of the otherworld — a far cry from the trick-or-treating done throughout North America. Here is a compilation of some of the most interesting acts performed around Halloween.

Barmbrack in Ireland

In Ireland, Barmbrack is a Halloween tradition that consists of making a delicious fruitcake. Sounds normal enough, except for one thing. There are treats baked inside and wrapped in the fabric of the fruitcake to predict the future. If the cloth has a ring in it, it indicates romance. If the dessert lover find a coin, it means wealth, and a thimble means you won’t marry. Make sure not to bite down on the item. Ouch!

Leaving water and bread in Austria

In Austria, people welcome spirits back from the other world for an entire week! All Saint’s Week runs from October 30 to November 8. People will leave bread and water out for the spirits so they have something to eat when they visit. The tradition is a celebration, but the act of leaving food and water out prevents these angry spirits from retaliating.

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El Dia Los Meurtos in Latin America

Day of the Dead is one of the most celebrated traditions in many countries around Latin America and is a three day celebration from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. It is known as El Dia los Muertos and celebrates deceased relatives. Candy, flowers, photos, and interestingly, the relative’s favourite foods are placed on an alter as an offering. Candles are also lit to show the spirits where to go. On the last day of the celebration, relatives will go to a cemetery for a picnic to reminisce about people they have lost.

Burning fruit in Hong Kong

Hong Kong celebrates a tradition called ‘Yue Lan’, also known as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. It is held on October 31 and runs for 24 hours. People will burn money, fruit, and photos as offerings to the dead. It has two purposes: to bring comfort to the dead and to appease them from seeking revenge on the living. Fires are lit to burn the offers and kept alit to ward off ill-tempered ghosts.

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Devil’s Night

Devil’s night is a recent tradition that has become more popular in the United States and even in some places in Canada including Winnipeg and Montreal. It is celebrated the night before Halloween and consists of people committing small acts of vandalism and arson. Some of the “tricks” consist of harmless pranks such as throwing rotten fruit at houses. More serious crimes are also committed as exemplified by events in Detroit where volunteers, calling the event Angel’s Night, have started patrolling the streets to prevent violence. With all the clown sightings lately, Devil’s night definitely gives the creep-crawlies.

 

Whether people try to protect themselves from the spirits of the dead, honour and welcome them or a mix of both, Halloween gives people the opportunity to celebrate a darker and fascinating part of the human psyche; our attraction to the fearful known of our future.

What’s your ecological footprint?

The earth is dying. That’s no secret.

But, what specifically is our individual impact?

The ecological footprint is an important environmental tool to understand the exact impact each person is having on the planet and how to make important changes to live a sustainable and eco-chic lifestyle. Understanding your impact on the earth will help to make important changes and, hopefully, help this wonderful planet we live on last a little bit longer.

What is an ecological footprint?

An ecological footprint calculates the supply of natural resources — forests, water, non-developed land —available in a given geographical area and the amount that is being used by each person or population in the area. This available land is given a fancy term: biocapacity. Each country has a different biocapacity depending on its ecological impact. This impact is assessed by analyzing the imports and exports of the country, and if the given territory has a high export rate, it is an ecological creditor or alternatively an ecological debtor if ecological imports are greater. Sounds complicated, right? Let’s break it down further.

An ecological footprint is the demand each individual, city, or country has on the available resources in a given territory. Each person has an ecological footprint within their specific country that can be calculated depending on their lifestyle. The Global Footprint Network has a decent ecological footprint calculator that will evaluate your mobility, food consumption, energy usage, and the amount of resources used per month. Each of these factors will either increase or decrease the size of a person’s ecological footprint.

The Impact of the Carbon Footprint

The ecological footprint encompasses not only an individual’s carbon footprint, but also their environmental standing. This provides a more accurate description of a person’s overall impact on the planet. The carbon footprint within this calculator relates to energy usage, for example the use of a car or public transit and electricity in the home. The carbon footprint makes up most of the ecological footprint because of the high reliance on CO2 emissions for transportation and energy usage. My personal ecological footprint results indicated that 57 per cent of my footprint was due to carbon emissions. I travel using public transit and live in a one bedroom apartment; yet the CO2 emissions are still high due to unsustainable usage of CO2 emissions in daily life.

The Ecological Footprint Calculator

When completing the ecological footprint quiz, it will ask you to create an avatar and lead you to different areas of the screen to measure usage of food, shelter, mobility, goods, and services. As a vegan, the calculator indicated that food was 23 per cent of my ecological footprint, and I used 26 per cent crop land. When I edit the footprint to include eating meat daily, it indicates that food becomes 30 per cent of ecological footprint and uses 32 per cent crop lands.

When the quiz is complete, the results include a measurement of your footprint measured in global hectares. This is a common measuring tool to assess the amount of resources humans use in various parts of the world. A global hectare is a unit that measures the average productivity of biocapacity of a specific viable area in a given year, including croplands, pastures and waterways. It is then used in the results of the ecological footprint to assess how many global hectares each person uses in a year from their personal resource usage. The results also show how many earths would be needed if each person lived with that specific amount of resources. For example, if everyone was vegan and lived in a small apartment, while using public transportation like I do, we would need 2.6 earths to make up the resources we use. The average for each Ontarian is 3.58 earths.

How to Reduce your Ecological Footprint

So, we’ve made the calculations and things look pretty depressing. What now?

A few ideas include using public transit and using alternative modes of transportation such as biking or walking. If you have to use a vehicle, make it something like an electric car. Sorry carnivores, but eating meat daily also uses high levels of carbon emissions and crop lands. According to the Global Footprint Network, “if every Ontarian pledged to reduce meat eating by half, it would reduce the amount of global hectares consumed by 5, 600 global hectares or 7843 soccer fields”. Using energy efficient light bulbs, and newer appliances also saves energy, as well as money on your electricity bill. Furthermore, recycling and composting is an easy and simple way to help live sustainably and responsibly.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged by the results of your ecological footprint! Understanding and realizing your impact on the earth is the first step to making a difference. By calculating your ecological footprint, it will help to understand which specific areas you need to be focused on to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.