Trace on the Living Planet: Ecological Footprint
What is an Ecological Footprint?
People have some essential needs to survive and these essential needs include basic concepts such as eating, taking shelter and getting warm. Our ecological footprint manifests exactly at this point: How much do we spend on these needs? An ecological footprint calculates the ecosystem balance that is eroded as a result of people’s actions and it helps us to determine what we need to do for restoring this ecological balance.
The loss of balance of nature occurred at the same time as the industrialization period. As a result of industrialization, humans uncontrollably and continuously supplied and demanded natural sources for overconsumption and rapid growth. Apart from this, urbanisation, rapid population growth and technological developments started to manifest themselves gradually. Nature is increasingly wearing out and we are drifting into extinction as we think we are growing.
In the middle of the 20. century, nature started to make us feel that it is wearing off. After that, in the early 90’s sustainability advocate Mathis Wackernagel and ecologist William Rees introduced the concept of “ecological footprint”. This ecological footprint concept that they put forward was a chance given to us because it was going to calculate how we harmed nature and how we would not harm it any more. Shortly, the pollution that people made, called a footprint in literature.
The ecological footprint which brightens our hopes for the living planet aims to add natural resources that are subject to consumption to production and measure the bşological capacity by neutralizing the wastes. At this point, biological capacity is the capacity of a certain region to produce its renewable natural resources annually.
According to the “Living Planet Report” published by the WWF in 2010; ecological footprint is 2.7 global hectares per person and biological capacity is 1.8 global hectares per person. At the same time, according to the report published by Global Footprint Network in 2014; the total ecological footprint value of the society is 1.7 world worth.
What are the kinds of ecological footprints?
Ecological footprint types are divided into six categories by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). These are carbon footprint, cropland footprint, forest footprint, pasture footprint, built-up land footprint and fisheries footprint. Let’s take a look at the footprint types together!
- Carbon Footprint: It is measured in unit carbon dioxide and it is a measure of the damage caused by human activities in the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas produced. It is divided into two as the direct and indirect footprint. Direct Footprint: It is a measure of direct CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, including household energy consumption and vehicles. Indirect Footprint: It is a measure of indirect CO2 emissions from the entire life cycle of the products we use, related to the manufacture of these products and eventually their deterioration.
- Cropland Footprint: It is the measure of the area used for the production of food and fibre, animal feed, oil crops and rubber required for human consumption.
- Forest Footprint: It is the measure of the forest area required to meet the amount of timber, pulp, wood products or firewood consumed.
- Pasture Footprint: It is the measure of the livestock area for meat, milk and leather wool products.
- Built-up land Footprint: It is the calculation of the area covered with infrastructure and superstructure related to meeting human needs including housing, transportation, industrial buildings and power plants.
- Fisheries Footprint: It is a measure of the areas with oceans and territorial waters and this calculation includes the living creatures that live in these areas.
How to Decrease Your Ecological Footprint?
- Change your transportation choice.
- Walk or ride a bicycle.
- Prefer public transportation.
- Travel with more than one person in individual vehicles.
- Decrease the use of aircraft.
- Balance your energy usage.
- Pay attention to energy efficiency at home.
- Do not have more than enough electronic devices.
- Use renewable energy.
- Organize your eating habits.
- Do not consume animal products.
- Prefer local foods and local collectives.
- Consume as much food as you need, not more.
- Broaden your viewpoint about sustainability.
- Give importance to recycling, do not demand non-recyclable products.
- Give your organic wastes back to the soil.
- Use your belongings cleaner and pay attention to reproduction, not consumption.
- Protect green areas and be careful about environmental cleaning.
- Do activism.
- Be conscious and be generous to share what you know with others.
- Adorn individual awareness with collaborative works.
How to Calculate Ecological Footprint?
We will share a link below for you to calculate your ecological footprint.