Earth Day: What’s Your Footprint?

Happy Earth Day!

My friend, Kim Zook, is my guest today. Kim is the editor of The Motherhood Muse, a literary magazine created to encourage mother writers to rediscover and reconnect with nature through their bodies, minds, and souls. It is a creative writing source that inspires mother writers to share nature’s gifts with children through our actions and messages. Read on and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a free subscription to this inspiring magazine.

The impression of a footprint, both physically and metaphorically, did not truly hit home with me until I held my first daughter’s tiny feet in the palm of my hand. In that moment of feeling her inky soles that just printed themselves on a piece of paper, I began to grasp the realization of how a single pair of footprints can impact one person.

Since that day I often trace my daughter’s footprints with markers on paper, show them how different shoes make different impressions in the ground, and bury their feet and footprints in sand. Footprints may press from within a pregnant belly. Footprints may carry a child from one land to a new one where a family gathers with open arms. But no matter the size and impression of a footprint, one thing holds true for every person’s footprint: it touches the earth in more than one way.

This Earth Day I hope readers of The Motherhood Muse take their love of reading literature about motherhood, nature, cultures, children and more to a higher level. We celebrate the relationship we have with Mother Nature through the sharing of literature about ourselves through the lens of nature, but we may not look to see how our footprints in nature impact the earth.

There are numerous footprint calculators online, but my favorite is at Global Footprint Network. This site asks a variety of questions in an attempt to calculate how much of Earth’s resources one person uses for his or her lifestyle. All too often we find that if everyone lived like us we would need more than one Earth, sometimes several.

I’ve used this calculator more than a handful of times in my life when I’ve had different daily patterns of living: from a hut in a rainforest to a grad student to living in a Japanese high-rise to biking in British Columbia to raising two daughters outside of Washington, D.C. Each time I calculate my footprint I learn the impact of my actions on the Earth as well as on the future of my children.

So this Earth Day I encourage our readers to use this calculator to determine your foot print. If you are brave enough, tell use how many planet earths we would need if we lived like you in the comments! Sadly I am now at the greatest I’ve ever been: if everyone lived like me we would need 5.2 planet Earths.

This calculator is an awesome visual, so pull your children up to the computer with you to do it together and see what you can come up with to reduce your footprint! My goal, besides continuing The Motherhood Muse, is to buy more local produce to reduce the ‘footprint’ of carrying food into my area.

Thank you Judy for hosting us here on your blog today!

  **One person who comments will be chosen by me (Judy) to win a free subscription to the 2010 issues of The Motherhood Muse!

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