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Ecological Footprint

The footprint depicts the amount of land and water we would hypothetically need to provide the resources we use to support ourselves and to absorb our wastes. It is widely used as an indicator of environmental sustainability of individual lifestyles. See newsletter.

A child born in a wealthy country is likely to consume, waste, and pollute more in his lifetime than 50 children born in developing nations. It is dawning on us at last that the life of our world is as vulnerable as the children we raise.

The current Ecological Footprint of the average Australian is almost 8 hectares. The world average is 1.8 hectares. See the ACF calculator GreenHome page.

Another way to calculate this is that if everyone in the world was living as we do, we would need to spread ourselves over 7½ planets to live sustainably.

Though I have solar power and drive little, by flying round the world my footprint for the year was 8.2 hectares and I emitted over 31 tons of CO2. Hummmm - NOT GOOD!

The overall human footprint has more than tripled since 1960. This is greater than the growth in population which has doubled in that 40 years. So, we have more people and each one is needing more resources. What happens when we pass 9 billion in the next 40 years?

73 percent of people now live on Footprints lower than the world average - and they are all doing their best to increase it. 2.5 percent of us take 20 percent of the globe's footprint.

You can calculate how much you and your family are consuming. The following list of carbon footprint calculators is a start, and is certainly not comprehensive.

Carbon Neutral Company

Environment Protection Agency

Climate Care

Earth Institute

CO2 Balance


CarbonLife C02 Lifestyle Calculator

BP carbon footprint calculator

Carbon Gym

US Earthday Network


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