How big are YOUR feet?

I see my feline friend has been here. She took a better self- portrait with the new webcam than I’ve been able to catch in weeks. I’m here and celebrating the day. HAPPY EARTH DAY to us, one and all.

In recognition of the day I checked out the size of my footprint today. It’s terrifying. If everyone in the world lived as I do, we would need 6.7 planets to be sustainable. Check it out, and let me know where you fall- my guess is we can all be embarrassed together. And if you’re doing substantially better, I’d like to know what you’re doing that I might follow ( I just know Bonnie and Hoss are both coming back with smart answers…).

And then, to celebrate the day I went over to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to look at all the Earth Day demonstrations. I’ll let these pictures tell you which ones caught my interest. I’m going to try to shrink them and then you can click to enlarge for detail. Okay- so I did the worms and engine. I just couldn’t shrink those beautiful birds any further…

There were very nice worms you could grow in your own worm box. They suggested having it in the kitchen so you could conveniently add table scraps. Now I like worms as much as the next person- probably more- but my mind wandered to what would happen if McCloud thought it was a great new litter box.Worms_1 So, I moved on to the hydrogen cell car and the giant shredding truck.Car_1 And then they brought out the raptors…RedtailYou know this guy by the color of his tail.Redtail3_1 This noisy little Screech Owl was a charmer.Screech_1Screech2 Did you know that owls have two ears of different sizes, one high on the neck and one low on the neck? They create a stereophonic sound system that would make Harmon Kardon jealous. Gh2This guy can hear a mouse moving beneath 8 inches of crusted snow. He can spot a vole from a half mile. And he can rotate his neck not only 320 degrees around but also 180 degrees, side to side. In other words, he can stick his chin straight upside down. Huh. Think about that. And all the other wonders of this most beautiful planet we call home. The Snarl thought about it for her Environmental Politics class and yesterday she submitted her final 7,000 word paper: Capitalism: A Poor Political Choice for the Environment. I need to go bind my feet…

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24 responses to “How big are YOUR feet?

  1. We saw many owls at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo–but they were all sleeping.

  2. Last year, my footprint was such that we’d need 4.7 planets if everyone lived like me. Two people in a single-family house was the kicker for me. I’ll go back and take the quiz again to see if I’m doing any better this year.

    The hawk and owl are gorgeous. I’ve been trying my hand/camera at avian subjects recently. More difficult than cats.

  3. My aunt did (actually, does, I think) the kitchen worms thing – she actually two big plastic containers that contain them, and they have those lids that are attached on the sides and fold in to the top – I’m probably doing a crappy job of explaining – so there was no risk of little people or little animals getting into the buckets. She also had, in her old house, two giant storage type drawers that she kept the bucket o’ worms in, for additional child/worm meeting prevention. Anyhow, they were a really great idea!

    If everyone lived like me, we’d need 4.4 planets – but we don’t own any vehicles and everything I go to (doctor’s, etc.) is within walking, so I don’t even usually bus anywhere. Cool quiz, though. I’m going to see what else I can do to get my footprint smaller… there’s gotta be something!

    Maybe I’ll mail-order some worms.

  4. Boy you’re heavy and I’m glad you’re not my brother. I’m a 2.2 footprint and can’t figure out how to get any smaller. Now then, Bonnie, with 27 children, should probably be a 19.6 — except they don’t ask about children. So she’ll get a 1.4 and go all ya de ya de ya ya. Some people I just can’t stand….

    (But Bonnie isn’t one of them….)

  5. I see that you haven’t furgiven my catty puns, Vicki.

    Earth Day is not my mirth day, though I only scored a 1.8. Less is more EXCEPT where having children is concerned. They’re people with souls, for crying out loud!! And, potentially great minds and hearts for taking care of God’s green earth! My ilk have now been somewhat compartmentalized in Ron Dreher’s recent book – “Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party)”. Great subtitle, but I would have added: homebirthers, yoga practitioners, classical fine arts supporters, and biodiesel makers.

    Does YOUR car run on salad oil, Hoss??!! Make biodiesel, not war!

  6. Oh, I just knew it. I knew my two dear friends- one in the Bide-a-Wee-Home-for-the-Gnarly in 300 square feet and no car, the other with all of those great minds and hearts under one roof- they were sure to leave me shamed by the size of my footprint. But driving less than 10 miles a week in my Honda and eating meat only occasionally-I CAN’T be the most conspicuous consumer in the ether. Can I? I would also note that it’s not my fault Michigan can only grow veggies 4 months a year. Yeesh. I need another big foot to weigh in here. And you two stop spatting. Bonnie-meow! Your catty puns made my day; there was nothing to furgive! I admit “gun-toting mama” never occured to me but I have always included “most creative and thoughtful commenter” to my list of descriptives when I think about you. I just knew going into the post that you would have such remarkably tiny toes that I called it up front. Keep dancing for the rest of us please.

  7. {{{Hugs))) to Vicki for letting me vent! ;~)

    Hoss has no car?! Hoss-1 Bonnie-0

  8. I’m a 3.7. DAMMIT! I did well on the square footage of my house, since it’s tiny. But I drive a lot. And I eat animals. One more thing to think about this week as I drive back and forth to work. Hey! If I quit my job I won’t have to drive so much!

  9. Vicki– We have raptor photos on our blog from our earth day adventure, too. Great minds, as they say!

    Interesting footprint quiz. I only need one planet and scored 1.8 hectares. We are retired, don’t drive much, never eat red meat (do organic free-range chicken once a week) rarely eat packaged and processed foods, and we never fly. They didn’t ask, but we also collect our rainwater and use it to water the garden in the summer. We’re old hippies, it’s our job!

  10. I take it back, I just took the quiz again to see how it was possible that we use so little, and discovered that I had put down the wrong size for our house. It’s a very big house. The house alone requires 6 planets. Very interesting. For all of our good eating, no flying, and homegrown goodness, our house kills the planet.

  11. I’d never realized before this week how much the Airline Industry contributes to global warming…perhaps if tickets were twice as expensive and everyone flew half as much? Loss of jobs you say? Well, there would be twice as many stewardesses, all of them highly trained ninja assassins / massage therapists / life coaches / high school teachers nine months of the year.

    I need help figuring out what to do with all the Boeing / Lockheed Martin furloughs, though…

  12. I didn’t do so bad. 2.9 planets. Probably because we have two households in one small house right now. It has electricity monitors on it…certain days and times of day you don’t run the dryer and the hot water doesn’t heat. We have a well for watering the lawn and flowers and there are local farmers that grow a lot of veggies. We do have two vans but I currently drive the parents everywhere so there are always at least two, more often three in the car. And one van is a Honda that does get better mileage. The next time I can purchase a car it might still be a van… but the Odyssey is going to be available in Hybrid next year. The Accord and Civic already are. We may try a few vegetables here but the ground near the coast is a thick black clay. Worms can burrow through it but not plant roots. (See I did get the worms in there)

    What alternative to Capitalism did Abby come up with? I always tell Nyssa that if she is going to oppose something that is already in place, she better come up with an alternative solution first. Otherwise, she would just be another “politician”. (Democrat, Republican, they are all the same… don’t want to talk politics)

    Tell Miss Sophie that my footwarmer says “meow”.

  13. My footprints a 9, so 2.1 planets for all of us. Which is still rather ridiculous.

    Beautiful avian photos, V.

  14. The girls love owls. I’ll show them these tomorrow. Thanks.

  15. I’d need 5.9 planets, Vicki. What an interesting test! Makes me want to be more responsible in my habits.

  16. I’m terrible. We’d need 8.2 worlds to accomodate people like me. (I think it is the gas mileage and the big house with two people. I should take this test again when I have three home from college this summer.)

  17. We’d need 3.3 planets. We have a small house, but we could stand to eat fewer processed foods for starters, and walk more. Hmm.

  18. We would need 3.7 planets to keep little ol’ me going, probably bc of the gas mileage (I have a lot of friends to drop home and take to projects ya know). I shudder to think how bigger it would have gotten if I’d use the stats for my home and not the apt. here.

    I loved all the owl facts. That’s one quirky lookin’ animal. Too busy celebrating end of exams to give Earth Day more than a passing thought (sadly) but there oughta be a lot more nature stuff going on here during the spring and summer. And boating festivals!

  19. I’m a little scared to take this test since I shower sometimes twice a day and don’t own a hybrid..yet.

    I am so far from my crunchy upbringing it is not funny.

    Yes, Bonnie, please save the Republican party, and then America. Do that and I will owe you my children’s future. If anyone can do it, you can.

    We need the Republican and Democratic crunchies to team up and tell the political parties they are not in charge of our futures anymore. Let’s fire them.

  20. waiiiit you were over by my place and didn’t call??

    My footprint said I needed 11.4 planets.

  21. Fantastic owl pictures! That’s interesting about their ears.

    My footprint is 3.4 planets. I thought I was doing better than that! Definitely have things to work on…

  22. 1.1 planets for me, but that’s only because my lifestyle has taken a drastic turn of late. And a good one, obviously. 🙂

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