How To Calculate Your Ecological Footprint
By Mirna Santana
The ecological footprint is a rough measure of the human impact on planet earth. The ecological footprint can be estimated for individuals, business, organizations, nations, or the globe. This estimate serves to guide people about their use of resources such as land, energy, or food. This estimate also helps people to visualize the many steps involved in the processing of commonly use products.
I invite you to take a minute and check the labels in your clothing. You will see that the different items may have been manufactured in different countries. These items are also made of natural or synthetic materials that have an impact on the earth system. Have you wondered where your t-shirt or your shoes come from or where they will end?
As the amount of resources utilized by humanity differs even among individuals living at the same household, the ecological footprint serves mostly to make our impact more tangible.
The ecological footprint help us become aware of the global impact of our patterns of resource utilization. The global estimate of what would be the impact on the planet if every other person in the planet behaves like us, make us conscious of how our choices impact the global resources. Visualizing our impact using an ecological footprint estimate may help us shift gears towards a less impacting way of living.
To calculate your ecological footprint I recommend any of the following organizations:
1.The Global Footprint Network http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/footprint_basics_overview/
2. Ecological Footprint by the Center of Sustainable Economy http://www.myfootprint.org/en/about_the_quiz/what_it_measures/
3. The Earth Day Network Footprint Calculator http://files.earthday.net/footprint/index.html
4. You can also calculate your carbon and food footprint by visiting my other hub What is your Food Footprint http://hubpages.com/_s3qd5g750028/hub/What-is-your-food-footprint
After you calculate your ecological footprint, I encourage you to learn about ways you can decrease your impact. Then go ahead and take some actions to decrease your footprint. Do what works for you and then a little more. Baby steps or big steps, all count!
Some ways you can decrease your footprint include: Becoming more energy efficient; avoiding the use of cars as much as possible; eating low on the food change; decreasing the amount of meat and dairy products and using environmentally friendly home and personal care products. Eating organic or no spray foods can also help the earth and other species. Learning about how your resources are produced, where do they come from and how other people or species may be impacted by their production also helps to be a conscious consumer. Being aware of how you participate and interact with the rest of the environment is part of our task as citizens of planet Earth.
For more ideas see my hub Ways to help Nature.
Lets celebrate our shared home!
© 2011 MSantana