Sustainable Business, Trending Topics

Ecological Footprint: What You Need to Know About & How to Reduce it?

/

by Alisha Shabnam

The concept of the ecological footprint was developed in the 1990s by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia. The idea was to measure the “footprint” of a human population on the earth. The concept was intended to help world leaders to better understand how much the world’s natural resources could support the increasing population.

So, How much of the earth’s resources does a human being use? How much of the earth’s resources do we use without thinking about it? Is our consumption of natural resources sustainable? These are questions that most people don’t think about when they consume natural resources.

However, the fact is that every human being uses resources in order to survive and thrive. Every time we purchase something, we use resources to produce that product. Every time we buy food, we use water to grow the food, energy to process the food, and land to grow the food.

In this post, we will discuss what an ecological footprint is and why it is important for us to make efforts to reduce our ecological footprint.

What is an ecological footprint?

The ecological footprint measures the total amount of biologically productive land and sea area required to sustain a given population. The concept of the ecological footprint was developed in the 1990s by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees. The idea was to measure the impact that humans have on the environment. This impact can be measured in terms of how much nature we use. We can then calculate how much more nature we need to sustain the growing human population. The global hectares (gha) is a measurement unit for the ecological footprint of people or activities and the biocapacity of the earth or its regions.

You need to keep in mind that the ecological footprint is not the same as the carrying capacity of a particular ecosystem. In fact, Carrying capacity refers to the maximum number of species or “load” that a given area can sustainably support without the degradation of the ecosystem. The ecological footprint is the amount of land and water needed to support the people or a population, including the production of all their goods and services.

A country’s ecological footprint can be calculated by multiplying the population size by the average per capita resource use. The main idea of ecological footprint is to understand the limits of the earth. The world’s resources are limited and will eventually run out. We have to be careful to use them wisely.

How does the ecological footprint affect the environment?

The ecological footprint is a measure of the human demand on the environment. It is calculated as the amount of biologically productive land and sea required to produce the resources consumed by a given population. The concept of the ecological footprint was first introduced in the 1990s when a group of researchers began to measure the amount of the earth’s land and sea surface needed to sustain current human consumption levels. Since then, the term has been used in a variety of contexts, including environmental policy and education. 

The ecological footprint is a very important measure as it can calculate the needs of our current population and how our current consumption rate can affect the future of our planet. The more people we have, the more resources we use for survival. This means that if we continue using the same amount of resources as before, it will take longer for our planet to recover from this damage, and it is possible that this planet will get out of resources.

Here are some ecological footprint values for the top 10 countries for 2018.

COUNTRIES RANKED BY TOTAL ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT (in global hectares)

  1. China – 5.5 billion
  2. USA– 2.7 billion
  3. India – 640 million
  4. Russian – 774 million
  5. Japan – 586 million
  6. Brazil – 542 million
  7. Indonesia – 460 million
  8. Germany – 388 million
  9. Republic of  Korea –  323 million
  10. Mexico – 301 million

It is important to note that ecological footprints are counterbalanced by biocapacity, which measures an area’s ability to generate renewable resources and clean up waste continuously. When the ecological footprint of land exceeds the biocapacity of that land, it is considered unsustainable.

Why is the ecological footprint important?

So, why the ecological footprint is so important?

The ecological footprint is a way to measure the amount of space and resources that a person or group of people uses. The ecological footprint is an excellent way to compare different products, services, and countries. The ecological footprint is often used in business circles as a metric for comparing countries. The purpose of the ecological footprint is to assess how much land, water, minerals, or other resources are consumed by each country’s economy. As such, it can help companies make more informed decisions about where they want to locate their operations and how they want to run their businesses.

The calculation takes into account all natural resources that are used for production, consumption, and waste disposal in each country (e.g., forests, water). It also calculates the average amount of natural resources consumed in each country. The Ecological Footprint is calculated through a dynamic set of mathematical relationships that describe the role of each natural resource in the national economy. The Ecological Footprint represents an economic indicator that reflects the total economic impact of all land, water, and other resources used to produce goods and services within a nation or region. It provides a means to track the environmental impact of economic activities and quantify the environmental impact of human activity.

The ecological footprint is based on the idea that we all share the same planet and that if one person uses more space and resources, it is a problem for the rest of us.

Ecological-FootprintPin
Ecological Footprint: What You Need to Know About & How to Reduce it? 3

The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint

In this section, we will discuss how to reduce your ecological footprint. So, let’s get green.

1. Reduce your consumption:

 If you’re going to reduce your ecological footprint, you’ll want to do it gradually. This means that you should start by cutting down on the number of things you buy.

You can start by thinking about how much you actually use. Do you really need to have all the stuff that you have? Are you really using them? If you don’t need something, you shouldn’t have it. 

2. Reduce your waste: You should also reduce your waste. 

Reducing your waste can be achieved by reusing items you no longer need, such as paper or plastic bottles, old clothes, etc.

Reducing your waste means reducing the amount of trash you create by reusing items such as newspapers, cardboard, plastic, etc.

Waste reduction is a great way to help save money. If you are not wasting food, you can buy less food. If you are not wasting water, you can use less water. If you are not wasting energy, you can use less energy.

3. Use energy more efficiently:

You can also reduce energy usage by turning off lights and appliances when you leave a room. You can also use energy-saving bulbs.

Using energy more efficiently can save you money on your electric bill. If you have a home in an open area, you can save even more by using solar power.

4. Grow your own food:

You can also reduce your ecological footprint by growing your own vegetables and fruit. You can use a garden, or you can find a community garden.

Growing your own food has many benefits, including helping you learn how to grow your own food. You can also save money by growing your own food, especially if you live in an area where the cost of food is high. You can even get a free meal from a community garden.

5. Conserve water: 

There are several benefits to conserving water, including saving money and reducing the ecological footprint. Water is one of the most valuable resources on the planet. It can be used in many ways, including to generate electricity, heat homes, and grow food. When you use less water, you save more money. It also reduces the amount of pollution and waste that is generated by your home or business. You can conserve water by using a rain barrel or by reusing greywater.

6. Choose more sustainable travel: 

By choosing to travel by bus or train, you can reduce your ecological footprint. You will also have more money to spend on things you enjoy. Traveling by bus or train is also more affordable. In addition, traveling by bus or train is often more convenient.

7. Choose more sustainable homes:

You can also reduce your ecological footprint by choosing an environmentally friendly home. There are several ways you can make your home more eco-friendly. Here are some of them: Install solar panels, use low-flow toilets and showers, Invest in an energy-efficient furnace, use energy-efficient lighting, etc. These small initial investments are not only eco-friendly but will also save you money.

8. Choose to buy locally:

You can also reduce your ecological footprint by buying locally. This can be done by buying produce that is in season and buying goods that are produced in your locality. It is a good idea to buy products produced in your country because it can help reduce the amount of energy used to transport goods from other countries to your home. If you want to reduce your ecological footprint, you should buy local.

9. Buy second hand: 

Buying second-hand is a great way to save money, reduce waste and reduce your ecological footprint. The second-hand market can be very competitive, and the prices can be lower than buying new. Buying second-hand is also good for the environment because it reduces the amount of resources that go into creating new products and the amount of resources used in the production process.

10. Reduce your consumption:

You can also reduce your ecological footprint by reducing your consumption. The benefits of reducing your consumption include: saving money, reducing pollution, and reducing the amount of resources used in producing things. Saving money is probably the most obvious benefit. Reducing pollution is an important benefit because it reduces the impact you have on the environment. And reducing the amount of resources used in producing things helps to reduce the ecological footprint you have on the environment. 

In conclusion, The more we use things, the less there is left for others to use. As the demand for resources grows, so does the consumption of those resources. The more we consume, the more we are likely to harm the environment. So, the ecological footprint is an important concept because it measures how much we consume. We need to reduce our ecological footprint to protect the environment and preserve the earth for future generations.

FAQs

What is the ecological footprint?

The ecological footprint is a measure of the impact of human activity on the environment. It is calculated by taking into account the amount of land and water required to support a person’s consumption, and the amount of waste they produce. The ecological footprint can be used to measure the sustainability of a person’s lifestyle, or the sustainability of a society as a whole. A person or society with a large ecological footprint is not sustainable, and will ultimately have a negative impact on the environment.

What is ecological footprint and why is it important?

The ecological footprint is the total amount of land and water area that is used by a person, group, or country to support its consumption, population, and infrastructure. It is a measure of human impact on the environment. The ecological footprint can be used to identify the sustainability of a human population, and it can also be used to compare the impact of different groups or countries.

How can we reduce ecological footprint?

1. Reduce your consumption
2. Reduce your waste
3. Use energy more efficiently
4. Grow your own food
5. Conserve water
6. Choose more sustainable travel
7. Choose more sustainable homes
8. Choose to buy locally
9. Buy second hand
10. Reduce your consumption

Why should we reduce ecological footprint?

There are many reasons why we should reduce our ecological footprint. First and foremost, it is important to remember that we are part of the natural world, and our actions have an impact on the planet. When we damage the environment, we are damaging our own home. Additionally, reducing our ecological footprint can have a positive impact on our health and well-being. 

Is it better to have a high or low ecological footprint?

On the one hand, a high ecological footprint means that you are using more resources than the average person and having a greater impact on the environment. On the other hand, a low ecological footprint means that you are using fewer resources and having a smaller impact on the environment. 

About
Alisha Shabnam

Hi! I’m Alisha Shabnam, a freelance Sustainability Consultant and writer working in the field of sustainability education.