What is Ecological Footprint?

You probably hear the term Ecological Footprint before, but what does it really mean? Why should you care about it?

The Ecological Footprint 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.

We also talk a lot about sustainability. What is actually Sustainability?

Imagine you have a magic candy jar which, refills itself. So every time you take a handful of candy, more candy just appears in the jar. Pretty great, right? With the magic candy jar, the candy is sustainable. That means that you can use it for a long time without it running out even if you take too much candy out of the jar, more candy will just appear. It’s magic!

But in the real world, we don’t have magic candy jars like that. If you keep taking candy out of a real candy jar and never put more back in, the jar will become empty and will not be sustainable practice. You can’t keep doing it for a long time, because the jar will run out of candy.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”

Welcome to the Earth Overshoot Reality!

Global Footprint Network, an international research organization works to change the way the world measures and manages its natural resources. The Network, began investigating our full “Ecological Footprint”, and troubled by what they found so, they created Earth Overshoot Day to raise awareness of the pressing situation. In 2000, Earth Overshoot Day fell in very late September; this year, it’s set for August 1. That’s not good.

The Overshoot Day, unlike the others, doesn’t fall on the same day every year because nobody can know for sure. This is what makes it so important. It is the day each year when humans demand for ecological resources exceeds what the planet can regenerate in that year.

OK! I got it, so what can I do?

One way to decrease the ecological footprint and push Earth Overshoot Day back each year, is to invest in renewable energy.

Fossil fuels formed in the earth over hundreds of millions of years from the remains of plants and animals. The usage of it has serious and long-standing negative impacts on public health, local communities and ecosystems, and the global climate. Fossil fuels are a major player in any place’s footprint.

Renewable energy, on the other hand, is generated from natural processes that are not come to an end when used. Unlike fossil fuels, these types of energy are clean and release little to no global warming emissions into the atmosphere.

Get Your Footprint and Take Action

Learn more about the impact you’re having on the world and calculate your personal footprint.

There are lots of things you can do to help our planet #MoveTheDate !

Author: Sena Ünlüel, Marketing Assistant at Reengen