Ecological Footprint

The term ecological footprint was introduced in detail by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth.  They use an equation to help determine our uses (natural resources, wastes) verses our available land needed to maintain our current levels of consumption of natural resources.  I am not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination, but the book has great illustrations and is easy to understand.  The book goes into more detail on how their idea is related to our ecosystems and is worth a read.

The ecological footprint constitutes a collection of three major resources: water, land and air.  In this series, I would like to discuss each one in a little more detail to show how each piece plays a crucial part in our environment and why conservation is so important.  Each section will include ideas on how to conserve with simple, every day choices, implications of our actions and how simple changes will help reduce the pressure we have put on our environment.

Carbon, is one of the many crucial element we use everyday.  Carbon can be found in food, clothes, electronics, gas and many other item we consume or use everyday.  By over using this one simple element, can lead to so many environmental changes such as climate change, global warming, drought and other impacts.  The world’s carbon footprint dictates how we use or abuse our natural resources.  The carbon footprint represents the amount of carbon used, released into the environment and what we leave behind.  Making any change, starts with our carbon usage.

Recycling paper reduces the amount of trees cut down, therefore increasing our forests capacity.  Deforestation causes changes in weather patterns, lost of habitat for birds and animals that survive in those forests and it increases our carbon usage.  The increase of global forest reduction means we are increasing our carbon usage and in return increasing what gets released into the air.

Reduction in petroleum usage also decreasing in carbon consumption.  Plastics, fuels, synthetic  products and even production of electricity uses petroleum.  Reducing what we buy, being conscience of our summer trips and conserving electricity can help reduce our oil demand.  Petroleum is currently being challenged by new and exciting ways to maintain our current lifestyle, but in a more environmentally friendly manner.  Electric cars, windmills and less consumption of products, such as bottled water, are promising to curve our appetite for items we took for granted in the past.

We now know from the scientific research, which helps to support these many issues, that we need to make a change.  In order to prolong our one earth, we need to take a step back and decide what we, as individuals, can do to help reduce our personal consumption.




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