I don’t know if it is the heat, nasi goreng, a constant yearning for the footpath or pollution messing with my serotonin, but I haven’t been able to hold a steady mood since I first arrived in this city. Tuesday, I was blue. Thursday, I was tickled pink. This weekend: a hyper-colour blur.
Today, I am stressed and I am crazy. When I have a lot of work on, I lug more onto the pile. Swallowed by stress and restricted by own perfectionism, I create deadlines where they needn’t exist just for the masochistic fun of it.
A scientific calculation of the difference between my Indonesian and Australian ecological footprints in my spare time — on top of a full-time job, extra editing tasks, Bahasa Indonesia lessons and freelancing — heck, why not?
Now this isn’t acurate. (Do I need to tell you that I didn’t have time?)
Based on flawed calculations, my hypothesis actually turned out to be wrong. Using the Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Footprint Calculator and answering as honestly as possible, here are the results.
My (and my household’s) energy guzzling ways when I was living in Australia a month prior to my Jakarta adventure:
And now with my more environmentally pious ways in Jakarta:
And this takes into consideration my increased flying, my increased cool-air consumption and even my decreased recycling.
However, this comparison is faulty. Firstly, both quizzes were answered as if I live in New South Wales, Australia, which is true for the first set of results, but obviously false for the second. It doesn’t take into consideration how the two countries generate electricity, the water efficiency of crop plantations and harvesting, the fuel efficiency of motorcycles I take to work, and so on. Secondly, it was difficult to give an accurate answer to many questions, mainly because in both instances I wasn’t the one responsible for paying the energy bills.
According to WWF’s Living Planet Report (2006), the average Australian uses 6.6 global hectares to sustain their lifestyle. I roughly used 5.8. And according to the Global Footprint Network, the average Indonesian footprint is 1.1 global hectare. I roughly use 5.
I thought my ecological footprint in Jakarta was going to be of Sasquatch proportions in comparison to my one back home, so I am not entirely sure of the reasons for the 0.4-Earth discrepancy. There must be something wrong. Personally, I feel guilty every time I look at a bajaj, let alone ride one.
After a couple of composed minutes to conjecture, here are some possible reasons: decreased meat consumption, decreased consumption of luxury goods (living out of a suitcase helps) and living considerably closer to work.
Now, when I promised results last week — like a pollie on the campaign trail — I really did intend for a more calculated conclusion. But regardless of whether I actually use a little more or less global hectares to support my lifestyle, I need to cut down.
Hmm … to start with I will stop eating meat, buy fresher and locally produced produce and (maybe even) try to go without air-conditioning as much as my sweat glands will allow. But what else can I do? Any suggestions?
How many world’s does it take to support your lifestyle? And what will you do to cut down? No judgement.
Next time I approach this subject, and in response to k8tb’s comment, I will look at the responsibility of governments to force their citizens to change their environmentally destructive ways. But while this city is making me whacky, I refuse to set a deadline.
Topic change: pornography, underpants and sexism.
The carbon monoxide is not only altering my moods, it is scrambling my brain and any attempt at logical and consistent thought patterns.
For those who don’t know, this blog/website/whatever-it-becomes is to encourage a cultural exchange between Australia and Indonesia; to facilitate discussion between the women of the two countries. So I thought this was a comparison to get people yakking.
Procrastination of said stress pile ends now.