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Environment for Beginners


"We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyones arguing over where they're going to sit." - David Suzuki

What Is the Ecological Footprint?

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The ecological footprint measures our consumption behavior, and is used to compare different countries and areas. This measurement includes all type of consumption like energy, food, material, etc. and is translated into a piece of land that we need to produce it. We then can find out how many pieces of land we need to reach our level of consumption.

If the ecological footprint were equally distributed, the planet would provide 2.5 hectares per person. However, due to the inequality of wealth distribution across the planet, the number varies greatly. Europeans consume an average of 5.3 hectares, North Americans 9.6, and Africans consume much less with an ecological footprint of only 1.3 hectares.

This assessment demonstrates our consumption behavior. The more responsible we are in our consuming habits, the smaller our ecological footprint and therefore the closer we become to sustainable development. If we were all to consume like North Americans, we would need four Earths to sustain our consumption.

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