You’ve probably heard the terms ecological footprint, environmental footprint or eco footprint before. Although these expressions are very important to preserve the health of our planet, very few people really know the definition. Let’s discover together the simple but complete definition and meaning of ecological footprint and the usefulness of its calculation.
Ecological footprint: A simple definition
The term ecological footprint, by definition, is an environmental indicator that measures the impact of human activity on our planet. In other words, the calculation of the ecological footprint makes it possible to determine the impact of humans on nature.
Basically, the ecological footprint calculation allows us to determine how much of our ecosystem (terrestrial and aquatic) should be used to meet our consumption of resources, our activities and our production of waste. The result is then measured in hectares (ha) per year. It is possible to apply the calculation of the ecological footprint to a person, a nation, a company or even the whole earth.
Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity: An applied Definition
The environmental footprint alone is interesting, but not as much as if we consider it with biocapacity. Biocapacity is the capacity of a country, for example, to generate renewable resources and to absorb the waste that results from the consumption of these resources. So you understand that if the biocapacity of an area is smaller than its ecological footprint, there is a problem!
Unfortunately, according to the global ecological footprint and the biocapacity of the earth, we would need 1.6 planets to meet our use of natural resources and to manage our waste production. This is one of the reasons why it is urgent and essential for each of us to reduce our eco footprint.
Ecological footprint and carbon footprint: The Calculation
As you read above, the ecological footprint is determined in part by the amount of waste we produce, such as CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). The amount of CO2 emitted by a person, a country or other, corresponds by definition to its carbon footprint.
Since 55% of the ecological footprint is determined by the carbon footprint, it becomes very interesting to calculate how much CO2 we emit each year. It also allows us to see that our daily activities, no matter how simple, have an impact on the global ecological footprint.
Did you know that you can know your carbon footprint precisely and for free? Get your free carbon footprint calculation now!
To give you an idea, here are some daily activities that generate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere:
- Driving to work
- Eating a piece of meat
- Putting clothes in the dryer
- Surfing the Internet
- Using a cell phone
- Turning on the lights in the house
- And many others…
No matter who you are and what you do, there are always ways to reduce your carbon footprint. For tips on how to do the same, check out our resource page for reducing your carbon footprint.
Now that you know the ecological footprint definition, what biocapacity and a carbon footprint are and that you understand a little more about what all of these terms entail, now is the time to take action. One of the first steps is to be aware of your personal impact on our environment by calculating your carbon footprint here. Following your result, you can also take another step forward by becoming carbon neutral or offsetting part of it.
Our planet is not enough to meet our demand, let’s take action together!