Ecological Footprint Definition

What do you Affect?

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Number of planet Earths we need

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TheWorldCounts, 13 May, 2014

What do you Affect?

You hear the term Ecological Footprint thrown here and there – but what does it really mean? Why should you care about it? 

The Ecological Footprint definition is simply a way to measure how much we use and consume, in relation to our environment’s capacity to provide and support our needs. It calculates our impact to our environment.

From the data gathered by several agencies, it seems that we are now over using our finite resources. We are consuming them faster than our planet can regenerate. 

What does that mean? 

Soon, we will have water shortage, energy shortage and food shortage. Our planet can’t sustain us for long. We only have 1 and yet, our current demand will need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain our way of living.

A Society of Waste

Each one of us has an Ecological Footprint. All the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the products we buy and the waste we generate – they all use up our natural resources and affect our environment. If you buy food mindlessly, waste half of it, do not recycle and use your vehicle to go a couple of blocks away, then you have a high Ecological Footprint.

You can take the Ecological Footprint Quiz here.

We waste so much. We didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. We felt it was our right to live and consume as we pleased, as long as we can afford it. But now we know, and the effects are showing. If we crammed the whole history of our planet in a year, modern humans have existed only for the last 23 minutes, and we have consumed 1/3 of our resources in the last 0.2 seconds!

How did we do so much damage? How can we stop it?

More: Current World Energy Consumption

Reducing your Carbon Footprint

  • Use a cleaner mode of transport. 
  • Walk, ride a bike or use public transport when you can. 
  • Have your vehicle tested regularly to reduce emissions
  • Properly insulate your home to reduce energy consumption.
  • Turn off your lights and appliances when not in use.
  • Buy energy efficient appliances.

More: What Is An Eco Footprint?

Reducing your Food Footprint

  • Buy Local and organic foods. Support our local farmers.
  • Buy food from local stores. These foods did not travel a long way to reach you and did not consume too many resources. And they’re fresher!
  • Choose foods with minimal packaging.
  • Support foods that are processed and manufactured with the environment in mind. This is to encourage food manufacturers who are trying to do the right thing. 
  • Eat less meat. 18% of greenhouse gases are from Meat Production.

Reducing your Home’s Footprint

  • Install catch water systems to catch rainwater which can water your plants or lawn.
  • Don’t let the faucet over run.
  • Avoid Power-Washing. This wastes too much water!
  • Recycle all your used Plastics, Electronics, Paper, Glass and Aluminum.

Help save our planet. One person with an initiative can influence another person and soon, we will have a planet that’s concerned with its Ecological Footprint. You can make a difference.

More: How to Reduce Our Ecological Footprint

References

  1. Wikipedia: Ecological Footprint
  2. eHow.com: Ideas to Reduce a Carbon Footprint
  3. WikiHow: How to have a smaller Ecological Footprint

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US$ spent on Fair Trade products

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