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• Sunday, May 02nd, 2010

I don’t intend to pick on Westmount since every community on the island probably has a similarly large ecological footprint.

Westmount Ecological Footprint

Westmount's Ecological footprint is the red, outer-most border

Nevertheless, it is just amazing when you look at the map above. The BLUE border is the physical size of Westmount. The RED border is the ecological footprint, or the size of the Earth’s resources it devours. The GREEN border represents the “ideal ecological footprint” according to some academic (see the full research here).

The source of Westmount's ecological footprintWhat’s the #1 source of this enormous ecological footprint? WASTE with 59% of the entire footprint! Waste has to be carried far away by gas powered vehicles and then stored in a place that takes space away from farms, towns and other productive spaces.

So, the #1 way to reduce your ecological footprint is to Compost! Yea, compost! It’s easy, it’s fun and you get empowered in the face of this ecological train-wreck called “modern, western life.”

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4 Responses

  1. 1
    Tony 

    I used to compost all the time when I lived in San Francisco but Montreal, incredibly, still does not offer municipal composting! And I don’t have a back yard in which to house my own composter.

  2. 2
    Mark 

    Cool Tony. I lived in the Bay area too, for 5 years. Do you know about Compost Montreal? They pick up your compost pail once a week for $5. In the Spring, you get back fresh soil (humus).

  3. 3
    Kimberly 

    Mark: do you have a URL for a simple at-home (backyard) composting kit or design?

  4. 4
    Mark 

    No, Kimberly, but there are many backyard composting bins available for purchase. For beginners, I recommend one with a hand crank that allows you to turn over the compost without having to get your nose in the muck.

    Eventually, you’ll want the experience and knowledge of doing it yourself by hand. Think of it like cooking: at first you just want a frozen dinner to pop in the oven. Eventually, you’ll want to try with your own hands to create that dish.

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