I. surveyed boys and girls. – Age V. Materials.

I.        
Environmental Issue.

 

Over-consumption of natural
resources with relations to food and drink.

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II.        
Research question.

 

To what extent does gender
affect a person´s ecological footprint in relation to food- and drink-
consumption?

 

III.        
History.

 

An ecological footprint
consists of measuring the area of land and water required to meet an individual
or a population´s standards of living. Hence, the area required varies, as
people have different lifestyles. As I myself and my friends belong to the
generation recognized as Generation Z, we are said to be the future; the
generation growing up with full-technology. However, we also use too much
natural resources – often more that what´s available. As our ecological
footprint contributes to unsustainable agriculture and a loss of natural
resources. As food plays a significant role in our ecological footprint and to
potential damage to natural resources I have chosen to focus on food- and
drink-consumption. As males are physically constructed more muscular than
females, it stroke me that males usually eat more than females. However, it
consequently made me realize that males may not have a higher ecological
footprint, even though they consume more. Hence, leading me to my research
question; “To what extent does gender affect a person´s ecological footprint in
relation to food- and drink- consumption?”. A survey has been constructed with
questions regarding individual´s lifestyles.

 

IV.        
Variables.

 

Independent
variable:

–      
Gender

–      
Nationality

 

Dependent
variable:

–      
Number of meals a day

–      
Lifestyles

–      
Meat consumption

–      
Non-alcoholic beverage consumption

–      
Alcoholic beverage consumption

–      
Money spent on food

–      
Locally produced food

 

Controlled
variable:

–      
Number of surveyed boys and girls.

–      
Age

 

 

V.        
Materials.

 

§  Computer

§  Online
survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HZ8QQPG

 

VI.        
Method.

 

A.   Ethical
issues: The survey was anonymous – hence, responses are assumingly based on
true accusations. The questions were non-judgemental whereas the responders could
answer honestly without feeling judged or targeted.

B.    I
created a survey in SurveyMonkey; a website available for anyone to answer
public surveys. The survey asked the following 10 questions:

                       
i.        
Are you female or male?

                      
ii.        
What is your age group?

                    
iii.        
How many meals do you have a day?

                    
iv.        
Do you follow any of the lifestyles below?

                      
v.        
How often do you eat meat?

                    
vi.        
How often do you consume non-alcoholic beverages other
than water? (such as tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks etc.)

                   
vii.        
How often do you consume alcoholic beverages?

                 
viii.        
In a week, how much do you averagely spend on food
from restaurants, canteens and takeaways?

                    
ix.        
Do you usually purchase locally produced food?

                      
x.        
Which continent do you live in?

Question

C.    I
sent the survey to all students at the IB school I am currently enrolled at, as
well other random individuals, as I kindly asked people to forward it. The
email included a short notice concerning the confidentiality of the survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VII.        
Collection and processing of the data.

 

I received 128 responses,
however I chose to randomly sample 40 responses of each gender, resulting in a
number of 80responses. I did this in order to make the data processing as
legitimate as possible. Secondly, the survey received mostly female responses,
hence I had to cut all the way down to 40 responses for each gender. The table
shows the responses to each question.

 

1.    
How many meals do you have a day?

 

One meal

Two meals

Three meals

3+

Female

1

4

18

17

Male

 

4

24

12

 

2.    
Do you follow any of the lifestyles below?

 

Non-of the above

Vegetarian

Vegan

Pecatarian

Female

33

1

5

1

Male

38

2

 

 

 

3.    
How often do you eat meat?

 

Everyday

A couple of times a week

A couple of times a month

Less than a couple of times a month

Female

19

12

1

8

Male

25

11

3

1

 

 

4.    
How often do you consume non-alcoholic beverages? other
than water? (such as tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks etc.)

 

Several
times a day

Once a
day

A couple
of times a week

A couple
of times a month

Less than
a couple of times a month

Female

12

10

10

5

3

Male

25

6

5

1

3

 

5.    
How often do you consume alcoholic beverages?

 

Everyday

A couple of times a week

A couple of times a month

Less than a couple of times a month

Female

1

12

16

11

Male

2

17

8

13

 

6.    
In a week, how much do you averagely spend on food
from restaurants, canteens and takeaways?

 

More than
£50

£16 – £50

£1 – £15

£0

Female

6

23

10

1

Male

5

23

10

2

 

 

General
trends concerning both trends:

§  Average
meals a day is 3 or more.

§  Most
of the individuals do not follow any specific lifestyle.

§  The
majority eat meat every day.

§  Non-alcoholic
beverages are most often consumed several times a day.

§  Alcoholic
beverages are most often consumed a couple of times a week.

§  The
majority spend £16-50 every week on food.

As a general notice, the
difference between males and females in this specific survey is very little,
which contradicts the stereotype belief whereas people assume males consume way
more than women. However, the survey does not measure the amount of food and/or
drink the two genders consume – hence, it could have resulted in different
results.

 

      i.        
How many meals do you have a day?

 

      i.        
Do you follow any of the lifestyles below?

 

     ii.        
How often do you eat meat?

   iii.        
How often do you consume non-alcoholic beverages?
other than water? (such as tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks etc.)

 

   iv.        
How often do you consume alcoholic beverages?

 

     v.        
In a week, how much do you averagely spend on food
from restaurants, canteens and takeaways?

By looking at the survey
responses, we can assume that;

–      
Both males and female tends to eat three or more meals
every day.

–      
However, females predominantly follow more specific
lifestyles. In other words, in this survey, females follow lifestyles such as
vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian. Males on the other hand, either do not
follow any lifestyle (most common for both genders) or they follow the vegetarian
lifestyle.

–      
Males eat more meat than women.

–      
Males also consume non-alcoholic beverages more often
than females.

–      
By looking at the people who drink alcohol, males tend
to consume more often. However, with regards to the individuals whom consume
alcohol less than once a month, male is the gender whom consume the least.

–      
Females and males tend to spend the same amount of
money on food weekly.

 

 

Total
average EF between males and females.

By averaging each respondent
and following, finding the total average between all females as males. Males
have an average of 3,24 and females have an average of 2,905. The rankings are
rated majorly from 1-4, however, one of the questions are ranked from 1-5.

 

 

VIII.        
Analysis & Conclusion.

 

To
what extent does gender affect a person´s ecological footprint in relation to
food- and drink- consumption?

 

Both genders tend to eat the
same number of meals every day. Nevertheless, amounts are not stated – hence, even
though females and males eat as frequently, they assumingly eat different
amounts. The females whom participated in this survey follow various
lifestyles. The reason for why they choose to follow the given lifestyles above
may vary, however, as there is more attention focused on animals and
sustainability, one can assume that a reason for why we follow lifestyles is
with regards to ethics. Individuals show remorse for the animals and therefore
choose alternative lifestyles, such as being vegetarian.

With regards to meat
consumption, males eat more meat than females, which assumingly does not come
to any surprise, as males are more muscular.

As 30% of the females consume
non-alcoholic beverages, it doubles for males to 62%. Concerning alcoholic
beverages, 42% of the males consume alcohol a couple of times a week and 30% of
the females drink alcohol a couple of times a week.

As of money spent on food, both
genders have similar habits whereas they spend the same amount of money.

 

Taking the results into
consideration, there is a slight dominance of men having a greater EF than
females. As a confirmation, the calculated average between the genders
mentioned above states the difference. In other words, as males in this case
have a greater EF, they consequently require more area of land and water in
order to meet their lifestyle. Nevertheless, females seem to consume less,
contributing to a smaller EF. However, as this survey only concern food- and
drink- consumption, the difference between males and females may possibly even
more out – women tend to use more electric equipment such as hairdryers,
straighteners etc.

 

 

IX.        
Evaluation

 

Limitations.

1.     Would
have liked to receive more male responses so that I would not need to eliminate
as many as I did. As if I was to do it again, I would consider other possible
methods to gain more male responses. Sending my survey to other schools would
be a possibility.

2.     Validity;
I cannot be certain that the validity of the responses is well enough, as
respondents can answer however they might want. This will always be an issue
with survey, and as far as I know, nothing I myself can do to in order to make
sure the results are legitimate.

 

If I would have received more
responses the whole experiment would have more meaning – 80 people cannot
represent a whole community/population.

 

As with my questions, I could
have eliminated the last question concerning nation of origin, as did not
receive enough responses to make a clear statement. My initial intention was to
see whether or not individual´s ecological footprint differs depending on which
continent the participant originated from.

 

I could also have put in a
question whereas the partakers could write what they usually eat in a day: a
description of each meal. This would allow for more analysis and a greater
representation of the survey, as the question were quite vague. However, by
adding an open question for people to respond to, I would risk losing several
responses, as people don´t want to spend time answering a question that does
not benefit themselves, and rather takes up a couple of minutes of his/her free
time.

 

X.        
Solution

 

Scarcity is the basic economic
problem that concerns the demand for resources with limited availability. Our
ecological footprint is based on the same principle; we, both males and females
consume more resources that what is available. We are damaging the natural
capital and putting our future at risk, by damaging the land available for
farming. Land is damaged and consequently a loss in agriculture. As we are the
new generations, we are the ones whom has to take a stand and make a change. At
our rate of resource usage, there will soon be nothing left. A result of high
demand for consumption of food and drink, unsustainable farming has occurred – long
term extinction of current available resources.

 

In order to create a change in
the environment, we have to make a change in our lifestyles – become more aware
of how threatening the situation is, and that the smallest change can actually
make a great difference. Possible solution could be for the government to
implement mandatory awareness programs at schools, from elementary age to
university. By making people more aware of what is going on around them it
could make a change, especially as the main issue is people not knowing the
issue. It could result in people choosing to follow other lifestyles, and if
not, at least to cut down on certain products that is bad both for one’s health
and for the future. Documentaries and public speaking awareness programs have
already created a change, who says we can´t change the attitude of individuals
even more?

 

 

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