06 June 2008

What Is Your Ecological Footprint?

We Are Using More Earths Than There Are?

"Humanity's Ecological Footprint is over 23% larger than what the planet can regenerate. In other words, it now takes more than one year and two months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year. We maintain this overshoot by liquidating the planet's ecological resources."

I recently got to hear Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director of Global Footprint Network, speak at a swissnex event. Global Footprint Network is in the business of encouraging ecological sanity by getting people to think about their "Ecological Footprint". The Ecological Footprint is a resource management tool that measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes under prevailing technology.

Mathis' message, entertainingly delivered, was:
Keeping track of the compound effect of humanity's consumption of natural resources and generation of waste is one key to achieving sustainability.

As long as our governments and business leaders do not know how much of nature's capacity we use or how resource use compares to existing stocks, overshoot may go undetected - increasing the ecological deficit and reducing nature's capacity to meet society's needs.

Check Your Footprint

You can use the tools on this page to calculate your own Ecological Footprint. How much of the Earth's resources, land, air and water do you require to support your lifestyle? What if everybody lived that way?

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